White Finnish media story of the day: Is media coverage of Muslims usually negative?

by , under Enrique Tessieri


With the rise of Islamophobia in Europe, one culprit culprit is the media. In the United Kingdom, 59% of coverage of Muslims had a negative theme, according to The Guardian, which cites The Muslim Council of Britain. If a national media has an appetite for biased news reporting of Muslims, it gives politicians and hate groups a lot of space and power.

Writes The Guardian: “The study [by the Muslim Council of Britain] found the Mail on Sunday had the most negative coverage of Islam, with 78% of its stories featuring Muslims having negative themes – above an already-high industry average of 59%.”

If one did a similar study in Finland, would it show the same results as in Britain? Taking into account the rise of Islamophobia in Finland through parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, one would think that such a study would be necessary in understanding the rise of far-right populism.

This billboard from 1996 tells its readers of the big news: The Somalis are going to make Finland their home. Some of the most racist examples of Finnish journalism are from tabloids. This does not, however, absolve the mainstream media which has succumbed to the same type of racism in its reporting. Source: Ilta-Sanomat.

Which dailies in Finland would have the most negative coverage of Muslims? Yle? Iltalehti? Ilta-Sanomat? Uusi Suomi? Kaleva? Helsingin Sanomat? Others?

Quality journalism aims to be fair and understands, or should understand, that you do not need to kill an ant with a bazooka.

With respect to the Oulu sexual assault cases in which Muslims were implicated, Migrant Tales reported that from November 27 to February 13, only the state-owned broadcaster Yle published 77 stories on the topic. On January 14 alone, Yle published 13 stories about the topic.

When compared with a similar sexual abuse case of minors involving white Finns, there was a different reaction. The story about the pedophile ring accused of sexually abusing 6-15-year-old boys lasted only a week in the news with 7 stories published by Yle.

One of the matters that becomes evident in stories is the code used to talk about Muslims. While the term Muslim isn’t that readily mentioned, stories talk about “asylum seekers” or “people of foreign origin” to mean the former.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

    • Migrant Tales

      I believe your point that the convicted people were a “gang” is a bit exaggerated. The police have stated that the eight suspects didn’t necessarily know each other.

      Do you believe that the reaction of the media, politicians and the public was disproportionate? We are talking about eight convicts.