UPDATE (Apr. 22): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

Apr. 22

Tapanilan joukkoraiskauksesta syytteet viidelle (YLE)

What’s wrong with this story? The news story by YLE on sentencing five youths with so-called “foreign backgrounds” is an example of how the media and society continue to perceive non-white Finns, especially those that are suspected of a crime, as eternal outsiders. The police may use an ethnic description of a suspect that is at large but to continue to label such a person while in custody is odd. Certainly there’s nothing odd about this if your aim is to stress “us” at the cost of “them.”  Migrant Tales got in touch with the policeman in charge of the Tapanila gang rape investigation. He admitted that some of the suspects were born and raised in this country and were Finnish citizens but didn’t consider these facts to be important in the investigation. Not an important fact? With one word, person with foreign background, the police labelled all migrants and gave a rude message to Finns that aren’t white: You are an outsider.

Tabloid Ilatlehti used the same term to describe a group of 8 youths aged 15-17 years who were sentenced for street robbing and attacking victims in Eastern Helsinki. The tabloid mentioned that “most of those sentenced” had “foreign backgrounds.”

Here’s the question: Why are they labeled “with foreign background if they aren’t at large and in custody?” How many generations must a person live in this country to not be labeled as a person with a foreign background? If the attackers were of German or Swedish background would they be called “foreign?” The term, like in Sweden, is code to label people who are, or whose parents were, from outside the EU.

This is not only poor journalism at its worst that shows how prejudices about non-white Finns are maintained, it shows as well how ethnically one-sided the Finnish media continues to be.

 

Näyttökuva 2015-4-22 kello 19.58.29

 

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Näyttökuva 2015-4-22 kello 15.29.08

 

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