In headlines now / 22.09.2016

“The postal service debate is about the right to information”

The Union has called on the Ministry of Transport and Communications to ensure that the reform of the law on the postal service maintains the five-day delivery service and does not reduce it to three days a week, as proposed. The draft legislation aims to rationalise the postal service in the context of the growing digitalization of information. But the Union points out in a statement on the proposed reform that for many people in Finland the digitization of media is a future prospect. Their continued reliance on the weekday delivery of papers and magazines is crucial both to people’s right to information and the survival of print media. “Readers cancel subscriptions when they can’t get their papers on time. We suggest that thought should be given to including newspapers and magazines within the scope of the universal service obligation,” said Hanne Aho. In its statement to the transport and communications ministry the Union says that cutting the daily delivery of newspapers to readers, most of whom get their papers through the post, would mean that they receive papers when they are out-dated. The Union argues that the impact on a media sector already facing structural turmoil would be severe. It would undermine the importance of an independent press and the functioning of Finnish democracy, as well as resulting in hundreds or even thousands of job losses. The Union points out that cuts to the postal service while the process of digitalization is still a work in progress would impose inequalities on citizens in terms of age, where they live, income, technical know-how and media use.

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