The media should stop stereotyping immigrants!

by , under Enrique

Black is beautiful, but I have a question: Why is it that whenever there is a story about immigrants or refugees in the Finnish media, the picture that is published with the story is usually of a black man or Muslim woman? Publishing pictures that feed the public a stereotypical image of immigrants does nothing more than reinforce prejudice and racism.

The media should do a better job and they can. The question is why don’t they?

Like in too many parts of Europe,  the whole debate on immigrants, refugees, immigration and cultural diversity is distorted. The best proof of this aren’t the opinion pieces we read about immigrants in the media but the pictures that are published with them.

Why do we do this persistently even if immigrants from Africa and Muslims represent a minority, according to the Population Registration Center (Väestörekisterikeskus).

Of the 195,511 non-Finns living in our country, the majority are Europeans and non-Muslims. Somalis, for example, accounted for 0.26% of the country’s total population last year. Moreover, the overwhelming majority (77.3%) of people in Finland are Lutherans compared with 1.47% who belonged to “other” religions.

So why does the media picture immigrants and refugees as blacks and Muslims?

Ignorance, outright prejudice or both?

Kuvankaappaus 2013-6-19 kello 13.13.29


A recent story on Taloussanomat uses a black man to portray immigrants.
Kuvankaappaus 2013-6-19 kello 13.14.25
This picture on Helsingin Sanomat shows a foreign-looking man with a women who could be a Muslim.