What’s wrong with this story? The headline offers us an answer to the latter question why their new boss, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Foreign Minister Timo Soini, is commonly misunderstood by the German media. What has the German media “misunderstood” about Soini? The Finnish embassy spokeswoman stated that the PS is commonly seen in a negative light by the German media and labelled as a far right party. In all of the seven German dalies quoted in the Ilta-Sanomat story, none of them claim that Soini’s party is “far right” but “right-wing populist” and “EU-skeptic.” If Ilta-Sanomat were interested in quality journalism it would ask why there is such a perception of the PS in the German media in the first place and are they wrong in claiming that it is a right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party? A lot of stories and names could serve as sources to reinforce the latter: Jussi Halla-aho, Olli Immonen, Juho Eerola, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli Sademies, Teemu Lahtinen, Jussi Niinistö, Harri Tauriainen, Tommi Rautio, Tony Halme, Hanna Mäntylä, James Hirvisaari, who was sacked from the party, and many, many others.
One of the reasons why Ilta-Sanomat is so interested in publishing these types of stories, and being the mouthpiece of the government, is that it assumes people don’t have a clue what parties like the PS say and do. Have their readers ever read the PS’ official immigration policy?
In the 1990s, when the number of migrants and refugees started to grow in Finland, tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat spread racism and reinforced hostile attitudes among some white Finns of migrants and minorities with the help of poor, sloppy and racist journalism.
Read full story here.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.