General / 02.12.2022

The Union of Journalists in Finland demands: freedom of expression must be safeguarded, media and culture must not be cut back

The Council of the Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF) calls for Finnish freedom of expression, culture and democracy to be safeguarded by guaranteeing adequate operating opportunities for the media and cultural sectors. The UJF opposes proposals that would weaken the Finnish media. Information security is part of our national security. It is important to maintain a self-sufficient Finnish media, independent of transnational giants. The alternative budgets of the National Coalition Party and the Finns Party would cut over Eur 100 million from the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), and the National Coalition Party would abolish subsidies for newspaper distribution, which would threaten to put an end to newspaper distribution in sparsely populated areas. If implemented, the cuts would be a fatal blow to Finnish news and cultural output. Cuts to Yle’s operations would also mean that the future of Finnish films, television programmes and music productions would be threatened. The cuts would increase unemployment and stifle already hard-pressed cultural entrepreneurs. If freedom of expression is curtailed by cutting back on media and culture, we will face a dangerous road ahead. An independent and nationwide media is a prerequisite for genuine democracy. There must be no news wastelands in Finland, and the functioning of regional and local newspapers and regional news services must be safeguarded. The UJF stresses that the commercial media and Yle are united in defending Finnish media independence and security of supply.   The UJF Council held its organisational meeting from 30 November to 2 December in Helsinki.

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