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 are 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. The government provided grants for 15 Finnish newspapers and an additional 8 million euros (US$10.75 million) for political party presses in the autonomous territory of Aland. The majority of advertising subsidies was spent on print media in 2006. 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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