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Freedom of the Press 2008 - Finland

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 29 April 2008
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Finland, 29 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4871f603c.html [accessed 23 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 2 (of 30)
Political Environment: 3 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 4 (of 30)
Total Score: 9 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)

Finland maintained its position as one of the most democratic countries in the world, with a government that generally respects freedom of the press in practice. Freedom of expression and access to information is guaranteed under Article 12 of the revised constitution, adopted in March 2000. There were no cases of defamation suits filed against journalists or media outlets during the year, nor were there any attacks on the press.

Finland has an impressive newspaper readership, ranking third in the world for circulation in relation to population. Two hundred newspapers are published, including 31 dailies, according to the Finnish Newspaper Association, and in 2007 it was found that the average Finn reads three newspapers a day. 150 publications have editions available online. Media ownership is concentrated, with Alma Media and SanomaWSOY controlling most newspaper distribution. Broadcasting was once dominated by the public broadcaster Yleisradio OY and commercial MTV, but 2 new broadcasters have since emerged. Included in the 67 commercial radio stations are 3 national public stations in Finnish, 2 in Swedish, and 1 in the Sami (Lapp) language. The internet is open and unrestricted, and more than 62 percent of all citizens have regular access. However, web publications must name a responsible editor in chief and archive published materials for at least 21 days. In addition, Finnish law, which gives every citizen the right of reply and to have false published information corrected, includes internet publications.

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