MT MEDIA MONITORING: How politicians perpetuate urban tales about migrants (Uusi Suomi)

by , under Enrique Tessieri

An interview by Uusi Suomi of National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Atte Kaleva, who is part of Finland’s Islamophobic network, demonstrates a common flaw by the Finnish media that perpetuates urban tales and misconceptions spread by politicians about migrants.

Kaleva claims that implementing a quota system for “foreign” students at schools in Finland would help to tackle so-called urban segregation.


Source: Uusi Suomi

Some teachers have suggested earlier that classrooms should have quotas for the number of “foreign” pupils. It may sound like a simple solution to the problem, but it is legally impossible for several reasons:

  • Teachers and schools are public servants. Like the police, they cannot discriminate against who they will serve.
  • Problems and challenges in this area reveal deficiencies like lack of training by teachers and the role of anti-racism education.
  • The so-called segregation that Kaleva mentions is due to many factors like discrimination and systematic racism.
  • Everyone is equal before the law in Finland.

Why did the reporter, Markku Huusko, not mention these facts in the story, or why didn’t he ask Kaleva why he wants to put caps on the number of foreign pupils if this isn’t legally possible?

Not addressing these important questions in the story, the reporter permits the interviewee to perpetuate urban tales and simple unworkable solutions to resolving important issues. In other words, Kaleva’s unfactual claims to spread and score points with his followers.

One of the characteristics of an Islamophobe like Kaleva is that simple 1 + 1 = 2 solutions help solve complex problems. Apart from his erroneous views on class sizes, the MP would have no issues scrapping the present international agreements on refugees and human rights.

Why didn’t Huusko ask Kaleva what consequences would be scrapping international refugee agreements and watering down human rights on millions of people fleeing wars that are perpetrated in many cases by the West?


The story by Uusi Suomi fails in many ways. The story could be considered “prejudiced” for the following reasons: it frames migrants in a negative light and makes generalizations about migrants; no alternative voices are questioning Kaleva’s points of view.