UPDATE (June 10): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

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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.

June 10

Suurlähetystö joutuu selittelemään Timo Soinia: “Ymmärretään usein väärin täällä Saksassa  (Ilta-Sanomat)

What’s wrong with this story? The headline offers us an answer to the latter question why their new boss, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Foreign Minister Timo Soini, is commonly misunderstood by the German media. What has the German media “misunderstood” about Soini? The Finnish embassy spokeswoman stated that the PS is commonly seen in a negative light by the German media and labelled as a far right party. In all of the seven German dalies quoted in the Ilta-Sanomat story, none of them claim that Soini’s party is “far right” but “right-wing populist” and “EU-skeptic.” If Ilta-Sanomat were interested in quality journalism it would ask why there is such a perception of the PS in the German media in the first place and are they wrong in claiming that it is a right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party? A lot of stories and names could serve as sources to reinforce the latter: Jussi Halla-aho, Olli Immonen, Juho Eerola, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli SademiesTeemu LahtinenJussi Niinistö, Harri Tauriainen, Tommi Rautio, Tony Halme, Hanna MäntyläJames Hirvisaari, who was sacked from the party, and many, many others.

One of the reasons why Ilta-Sanomat is so interested in publishing these types of stories, and being the mouthpiece of the government, is that it assumes people don’t have a clue what parties like the PS say and do. Have their readers ever read the PS’ official immigration policy?

In the 1990s, when the number of migrants and refugees started to grow in Finland, tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat spread racism and reinforced hostile attitudes among some white Finns of migrants and minorities with the help of poor, sloppy and racist journalism.

Näyttökuva 2015-6-10 kello 8.16.31
Read full story here.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.


  1. steve

    There’s nothing wrong in the Ilta-sanomat-story. I didn’t have any problems in understanding it. Merja Sundström, who works for the finnish embassy in Germany, says, Soini is often misunderstood there. There’s no reason to doubt Sundström, is there? Then the story shows examples of what’s been said about Soini in the German media. The writer leaves to the readers to decide, if those quotes are correct or not. This story is intended for finnish readers, who already know, what kind of party PS is.

    “If Ilta-Sanomat were interested in quality journalism it would ask why there is such a perception of the PS in the German media in the first place and are they wrong in claiming that it is a right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party?”

    Asking obvious questions wouldn’t make this a quality journalism. Of course you could debate is the party right-wing or left-wing, but I don’t think many readers would be interested in that.

    Again, I think you should learn from this story. You underestimate your readers all the time. You assume we are stupid, who need YOU to tell us, how we should react to things. You underline, you judge, instead of just writing the facts, and let us do the judging.

    And often you don’t even get the facts right.

  2. MattiR2106

    Right on, Steve. These types say/write/blog the first disgusting term that they can muster about their hated target politician(s). I can agree that politicians are usually people who do not garner much love from almost everyone…. So these characters on Migrant Tales…. throw any and all filth at the wall and see what sticks…. However, woe betide the opposing side (us) use even close to the terminology they so freely unleash, and out comes the crying towel…. Finland cannot/not afford, nor do we have the facilities to accommodate an unknown number of migrants that the EU is ‘mandating’ on members. The PS party of Finland is merely voicing and acting on that fact…. Migrant Tales is trolling for new members to bolster its influence….