Tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat have a lot to learn about fairness, which is the cornerstone of all good news reporting. But tabloids aren’t interested in fairness but in sensationalism. A story by Ilta-Sanomat is headlined: ”Two Somalis use [fake] Yemeni passports to travel to Finland.”
Even if the story suggests that these Somalis are committing a crime because they travel with false passports, there is much more to the case than meets the eye. If the reporters would have bothered to read a related story on 4 News in the UK, the angle of their story would have probably been different.
According to 4 News, hundreds of asylum seekers who used false passports to travel to the UK in the past ten years were abused and wrongly convicted. As a result, the court of appeal quashed the convictions of five victims because they were denied a justifiable defense of the charge.
None of the lawyers told one of the victims like “Jonathan,” who appears on the program, any chance of defending himself. The lawyers advised Jonathan to plead guilty to the charges, which landed him a conviction and a six-month prison sentence.
Apart from having a criminal record, which worsened his chances of finding employment, he was denied for seven years the right to see his wife and child in the U.S. His conviction denied him a visa.
Go here to see the 4 News report.
Read full story here.
Migrant Tales has published numerous Ilta-Sanomat’s racist billboard ads from the 1990s, when Finland’s foreign population started to grow rapidly.
Here’s a tabloid ad from 1992 where then MP Liisa Kulhia wants to put the Russian mafia and Somalis in their places.
The Finnish media reports near-constantly stories that reinforce intolerance of certain ethnic groups. But what can you expect if they don’t know better? If they don’t know better, any self-respecting reporter would get the facts right and rely as less as possible on his prejudices.
Anssi Honkanen’s and Renne Korppila’s Aamupoika radio program on NRJ, one of Finland’s most popular private radio stations, is one recent example of how hostility and intolerance of immigrants is promoted in Finland. The radio commentators claimed that there was a direct link to between crime rates/human trafficking and the Bulgarian and Romanian Roma who come to Finland to beg.
I sent an email to the program challenging their urban tales but never got a reply from either Honkanen or Korppila never mind NRJ.
I wonder if NRJ paid any attention to an official police report in mid-July that Roma beggars aren’t victims of human trafficking or linked to organized crime?
As long as people like Honkanen and Korppila can get away with such racist statements, very little can change.