On Friday November 25, 2016, the Finnish public broadcaster YLE published an online story that made Prime Minister Juha Sipilä lose his temper. YLE management reacts by scaling down coverage. As a consequence, journalists resign and accuse editorial leaders of limiting freedom of speech. In addition, in 2017 Finland lost its first place on Reporters without Boarders’ Press Freedom Index. This series of events is known as #Sipilägate.
Anu Koivunen, of Stockholm University explores this so-called #Sipilägate and the changing relationship between media and politicians in Finland.
The author argues that #Sipilägate as #Ylegate has revealed highly differing interpretations of the first guideline for journalists: “A journalist is primarily responsible to the readers, listeners and viewers, who have the right to know what is happening in society”. #Sipilägate also challenges the power structures within newsrooms and the social role of journalism itself.
The article will be published in Nordicom-Information 1/2017 but it is available open access on Nordicom website.
Picture: DOORSTEP 2016-09-16 BRATISLAVA SUMMIT by EU2016 SK, licence: CC0 1.0