YLE of Finland: When the police and journalists use statistics with malicious intent and irresponsibly

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The media plays a decisive role in broadcasting bigotry, sanitized hate speech, and populism in Finland. A recent example of the latter is a story published by YLE where the police claim that crimes committed during the beginning of this year by foreigners in Eastern Finland grew by 179%!

Now that is a very scary three-digit percentage figure! If a person only read the headline, he’d think that all foreigners must be criminals since crimes committed by them soared by 179%.

But let’s take a closer look at the story as Petri Cederlöf did on his Facebook wall below.

Näyttökuva 2016-4-23 kello 12.09.20
Petri Cederlöf correctly points out above that foreigners (we don’t know how many are tourists) committed 206 crimes out of a total of 14,923. That amounts to about 1.5% of all crimes reported to the police.

In my opinion, the police and the journalist who published the story did a poor job. They did a poor job since they gave a particular view of how those crime statistics could be interpreted.

Even so, is it fair reporting?

In Finland, unfortunately, statistics are too often twisted this way and serve only to alarm people and fuel mistrust of migrants and minorities.

Malicious intent?

Maybe.

Irresponsible?

Absolutely.

Näyttökuva 2016-4-23 kello 12.01.13

Read full story in Finnish here.

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