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Journalistiliiton puheenjohtaja Hanne Aho. Kuva: Kai Widell / Journalisti

Responsible journalism starts with the editorial office

“Responsible journalism starts with the everyday work at the editorial office. Behind all responsible journalism there’s a responsible journalist,” says UJF president Hanne Aho.

The union is backing the responsible journalism campaign being run by the Council for Mass Media in Finland (CMM). The need for the campaign is underscored at a time when fake news and misinformation is being spread online.

Responsible journalism checks its facts. If mistakes are made, they are corrected and lessons drawn from them.

Many media outlets have started using the CMM’s Responsible Journalism symbol, launched 12 March. The emblem signifies that the media using it is committed to the guidelines for journalists and ethical self-regulation, and support the work of the CMM.

The UJF is a mainstay the CMM’s activities.

“€6,70 from each UJF member’s annual membership sub is paid towards the CMM’s work,” says Aho. “It’s a great investment.”

The CMM campaign’s base is its website www.vastuullistajournalismia.fi. The site explains what the guidelines for journalists mean for the ordinary media consumer.

Apart from the UJF and the Radio and TV Journalists Union, the CMM’s support association includes publishing organisations, Yle (the public broadcaster) and the commercial TV channels MTV and Nelonen.

In addition to membership payments, the Ministry of Justice has supported the work of the CMM to the tune of €80 000 a year, which covers about 20% of its expenses. Hanne Aho chairs the CMM support association.