Exposing white Finnish privilege #76: Two news stories that expose entitlement

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If the story about youth crime committed by so-called people of migrant backgrounds had been published in the United States, many would be considered misleading and racist.

One in November about youth crime ended up labeling all youths of migrant origin as dangerous or potential criminals. The other one, published this month, was about the suspected cold-blooded murder committed by 16-year-old white Finns.

Why are the angles of both stories so different?

One story labels a whole group of youths while the other one doesn’t.

How do you think Helsingin Sanomat, or the national media, would have treated the latest tragedy if the murder were committed by “youths of migrant backgrounds?

For one, all hell would break loose. Reporters would have a field day, as in the past, stoking the fires of prejudice and racism.


One of the challenges and priorities of Finnish society is to stop labeling people as them and us. Even so, this exemplifies privilege and a way to exclude brown and non-white Finns from being treated as equal members of society.

Another challenge to the Finnish media is that it has made its newsroom more diverse. In Helsinki, about 16% of the population does not speak Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. Despite this fact, the vast majority of Helsingin Sanomat’s newsroom staffers are white Finns.

We have said this many times and continue to repeat it: The Finnish media is part of Finland’s racism problem.

One positive step in the right direction to give a blow to this entitlement and slanted reporting of non-white Finns would be to educate and train new journalists who can offer a fresh perspective.

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