The Parliament of Finland, The Ministry of Traffic and Communication, Finland, YLE
In Scandinavia, the public service broadcasting companies have had their programmes made by the skilled staff that is continuously diminishing. Therefore they use more and more freelancers and independent production companies to cover the continuously growing transmission time. This cooperation has worked quite well .
One of these companies, The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE is now facing economic troubles. The license fee system is coming to its end. Finland’s previous Government did not accept the suggested media payment system. YLE has entered a state of great uncertainty. The recently elected new Parliament, which controls YLE, has not yet decided how YLE should be financed. Therefore, YLE is notably reducing the cooperation with freelancers, large independent feature film making companies and small media entrepreneurs. This situation will last for the next two years, which means that the whole electronic media sector, especially the development of quality programmes like documentaries is in danger.
The funding of documentaries relies heavily on YLE’s interest in the distribution and participation in the production agreements. Without YLE’s involvement the Finnish and foreign financiers are not willing to cooperate with the freelancers or with the production companies.
We as representatives of the Scandinavian freelancers’ associations protest against YLE’s cutbacks , and appeal to the Finnish Parliament and the Ministry of Transport and Communications for an immediate decision over the funding of YLE. The electronic media freelancers and the Finnish film industry should not bear the consequences of the cutbacks made at YLE. The situation threatens the quality of the Finnish public broadcasting service and should be resolved without delay.
The meeting of the boards of the Scandinavian freelancer organizations , Helsingør, May 13, 2011
Frilans Riks/ Sweden
Freelance-journalists of Finland / Press
FAO –Radio and Television journalists, freelancer section, Finland
Additional information: FAO, Kirsi Mattila, firstname.lastname@example.org