Sensationalist stories in Finland about migrants based on exaggeration and lies

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Ever wondered what happened to those rape stories in the Finnish media? Below, you will find one with a provocative headline that strikes fear (and attracts potential advertisers): “A shocking figure from the beginning of the year: Rape crime grew by over 400% in Turku compared previously.”

Terrible, no? Certainly. Even one rape case is utterly unacceptable and should be condemned.

But wait a minute. The “over 400%” claim is based on a figure of 4 cases in 2016 compared with 21 in the first quarter of the year.

What we do not know:

  • Are these 21 suspected or convicted rape cases?
  • Do these 21 cases involve migrants, asylum seekers or tourists visiting Finland?

Be wary of rape stories that only use percentage figures to claim how much such cases have risen. Anti-immigration groups use this tactic constantly to drive home their point that migrants are over-represented in certain crime statistics. Look at volumes instead.

I called the editor of this community paper called Turkulainen last year and asked him if the headline and claim were ethical.

“Don’t you understand that we need to attract advertisers!” he said justifying the headline.

While community papers like Turkulainen are an example of the worst type of journalism in Finland, the headline of the article below reveals a total disregard and responsibility of the publication for fueling and maintaining stereotypes about migrants.

The sensationalist article claims that the number of rape cases reported to the police rose from 4 to 21. Source: Turkulainen.

Do you think that the only ones responsible for shoddy journalism in Finland are community papers? Think twice. In 2015, Migrant Tales reported some cases of poor journalism in this country.

On the above list, you will find mainstream newspapers that should know better like Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest daily.

Other ones, like the one below, published by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE), leave you speechless.

Read the full story here.

What does the story state and assume?

The headline reads: “Police confirm that the much-feared rape wave [by asylum seekers] didn’t happen.”

How do you like the picture that went with the story? Women in bikinis taking sun on the beach.

This is not a joke but a real headline and story by YLE, which claims to adhere o ethical standards.