The Finnish media’s reporting about migrants and minorities is a disappointment

by , under Enrique Tessieri

It is surprising, even worrying, that outsiders are the ones that help burst the media’s many bubbles. One such OP-ED published Wednesday in Helsingin Sanomat by Antti Kivijärvi, and Martta Myllyä sheds light on the blind spot created by exceptionalism and ethnocentrism.

Should it be a surprise that this state of affairs happens whenever migrants (usually asylum seekers and Muslims) and minorities are the topic?

Recently we saw this ethnocentric monster appear with the Helsinki district court’s ruling that carrying Nazi Germany flags in public was not ethnic agitation.

The debate surrounding neo-Nazis and racism in Finland does not consider the victims themselves. When have you seen a black sociologist offer his views on an act of racism or of racism in general in this country?

Two days after the Helsinki court’s ruling, Kirkko ja kaupunki was the only media in Finland that interviewed the Jewish community.

Certainly, Jews, Roma, and other victims of Nazi terror have some opinions about Nazi flags.

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

The latest example of the misguided and biased debate about asylum seekers was revealed in an OP-ED by Kivijärvi and Myllylä.

After the fall of Kabul and the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the media and some politicians have used the same talking points of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party.

The reasoning behind the Islamophobic soundbites that emerged from 2015 was asking why are all the asylum seekers men? Where are the women and children?

Even if few will dispute that the Taliban aren’t scaling back women’s rights and of other minorities in the country, why do we want to only help women and children and not all Afghans? Some people call it the white savior complex, disguised Islamophobia, racism, even obnoxious hypocrisy.

The Finnish media are culprits in fueling the hostile environment against migrants and minorities. Thanks to them, the PS became one of the biggest parties in the last decade polarizing society, fueling racism and far-right ideology.

Considering that the US-led coalition has been bombing Afghanistan for twenty years, one wonders who Finland and the EU want to save – if they are serious about saving anyone.