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UJF advocacy head: “8 million for TV news would be a good start”

Union’s standpoint taken into account in review of commercial TV news services.

The working group of the Ministry of Transport and Communications tasked with evaluating the news operations of commercial TV took a submission from the UJF, which included proposals on safeguarding the diversity of TV news.

The working group, headed by MP Hjallis Harkimo, released its report 1 March, which is titled “Pluralistic news service requires actions”. The report contains proposals for supporting commercial television news services.

“The UJF’s main message has been taken onboard,” says the union’s head of advocacy Petri Savolainen. “Our points on ensuring the plurality of voices in TV news figures strongly in the report, as does the union’s concerns about the reduction of commercial TV news operations.”

Savolainen also give the thumbs-up to attention given in the report to the problem of fake news.

“The UJF has previously said that there must be adequate resources devoted to adherence to journalistic rules in news operations in these times of fake news. The union proposed that a range of support be considered for commercial TV news work. The working group proposes a temporary three-year support programme to safeguard the prerequisites of news operations. The sum to be devoted to supporting news operations would be about €8-million,” said Savolainen

“In Sweden, Norway and Denmark, tens of millions of euros are disbursed in media support annually, but the 8-million proposed by the working group would be a good start in Finland. We need to ensure that the money is made available, as at present such funds are not covered by the national budget.”