UPDATE (Mar. 11): 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.

Mar. 11

Tapanilan raiskaus ja HS:n uutisointi – Mitä kertoa, kun epäillyt ovat jo kiini? (Helsingin Sanomat)

Some bad and some good journalism. The police said in a statement that a group of 15-18-year-olds who raped a woman on Monday in Tapanila, a neighborhood of northern Helsinki, had “immigrant backgrounds.” A few minutes later after publishing the story Helsingin Sanomat, which relied on the police statement, took out the word since the suspects were in police custody. Stating a person’s ethnic identity can be helpful if the suspect is still at large. This may be problematic, however, since a person with “immigrant background” encompasses a very large group. In practice it is anyone who isn’t a white Finn. In the present xenophobic climate and with parliamentary elections only a month away, some anti-immigration sites are pointing the accusing finger at Helsingin Sanomat for removing the word “immigrant background” in the story as a clear example that Finland’s largest daily favors “foreigners.” A question that should always be asked when mentioning a suspect’s ethnic background is if the person is under custody or is still at large?

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