Finland Times

Tuesday, 16 July, 2024
Special issue on our third founding anniversary
From the desk of editors
Finland Times, Finland’s first ever English online daily, has stepped into its fourth year today. The daily started its operations on December 10, 2012 under a University of Lapland media project on the credibility of digital media sponsored by the European Union.

We are happy that it has already achieved the trust of thousands of readers in Finland, the Nordic countries and elsewhere across the globe. Along with readers from Finland, residents of more than 213 countries and regions have visited so far, which shows that more and more people are reading it. We find it most encouraging.

Every venture has a mission. We, at Finland Times, are trying to present absolutely unbiased news and information and, in the process, build up trust among our readers at home and abroad. With the slogan “where accuracy is dealt with acumen,” the online newspaper has always strived to practise objective journalism beyond any political agenda or gossip, trying only to disseminate undistorted, un-tampered facts.

Besides providing readers with updated information, Finland Times has been playing the role of an ambassador of the Finnish society, culture, business, and lifestyle to global English-speaking population. We have also been playing a pro-active role in promoting the economy and development of Lapland, the home of the newspaper, and the well-being of its people in every way we can. Although we are neutral, on some issues like environment, globalisation, fundamental rights, humanity, education, and health the newspaper has its own policy to always play a pro-people role. It will continue its strong activities against fundamentalism, religious superstition, racism and injustice with the view to establish a world of prosperity and happiness.

During the last three years we have received myriads of responses from different sections of readers including intellectuals, politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and students encouraging us to go ahead. We have also received criticism from some quarters which helped us to overcome our loopholes.

On this special occasion, we renew our pledge to uphold ethical norms of journalism and keep our readers up to date. We know we have a long way to go and so are navigating carefully to remain on track in this age of digital technology. But we still need and expect unflinching support from our readers and well-wishers.

I take this opportunity to thank once again our readers, sponsors, advertisers, staff and friends who are with us on this journey. I hope that all who have supported this newspaper in achieving today’s feat will continue to help us reach further heights.

Thank you for your support and keeping our hopes alive.

Since the inception of its journey three years back in 2012, Finland Times has become a choice source of English news in Finland, creating a new era in English journalism in the country, in addition to opening a global window for people to learn the latest happenings.

I have been very close to this new and promising venture from the very beginning. I believe the future of English newspapers is a very bright one here in Finland in this age of globalization, when online media have started to lead the news industry as a whole.

I have found that Finland Times maintains objectivity and the ethical norms of journalism in presenting news that has earned it credibility among its readers over the last three years. More than 460 different national and international organisations, including the Finnish government website, are now using the link of Finland Times, which proves its positive impact on Finnish and European as well as global news media.

However, commercial viability is also of high importance for smooth functioning of this news outlet which is proactive in introducing the Finnish culture across the globe. The newspaper also carries a high level of potential to help the business community introduce their products outside Finland and attract foreign investors. It also has created a platform for learning practical journalism for students. Indeed, a number of university students have successfully completed internship here.

Finland Times was the media partner of the World NGO Day organised by the World NGO Forum in Helsinki and of the Arctic Business Forum hosted by the Lapland Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Rovaniemi.

I think it is the responsibility of all of us to help Finland Times strive ahead for the greater interest of our society. I urge government, non-government, business and other organisations to extend all-out cooperation to Finland Times in earning commercial viability.

Greeting Message

All of us benefit from quality journalism

My most sincere congratulations to Finland Times on its third Founding Anniversary. I'm very happy to see that Finland's first ever English online daily is achieved thousands of readers - from over 200 countries.

The presence of English-speaking media in international Finland is indescribably important. Not only the growing number of non-Finnish-speakers living in Finland, working in Finland and visiting Finland, but all of us benefit from quality journalism in different languages.

I especially hope more readers for Finland Times among young people. Also English-speaking media should become part of their everyday routine. That helps not only with the language skills but also teaches critical thinking and seeing different perspectives and points of views.

In addition, as the Minister of Finance of Finland, I do hope the magazine publishes good economy related articles, interesting, objective journalism, and comparisons around the world - for we are all connected to each other.

My best wishes for the success of the Finland Times for years to come!

Warm congratulations to Finland Times

I would like to warmly congratulate Finland Times for its third anniversary!

As a former summer reporter and a former expatriate I value independent and high-quality journalism that is available in different languages.

Finland is an open and international economy. Our partners around the world are searching reliable information on us. Furthermore there is a growing number of people who don’t speak Finnish, but who live or visit our country. The need for news in English is continuous.

Finland Times has succeeded well in this endeavor and I wish you all the success in the future as well!

Finland Times plays important role in our society

I warmly congratulate Finland Times for the three years of bringing news to Finland’s English-speaking community. Three years are a milestone in these changing times in the media field. Navigating through this ever-changing tie alone proves that Finland Times has an important role as a messenger in our society.

Access to information is one dimension of equality. The population of non-national-language-speakers is rising in Finland and it is vital that new Finns are given possibility to access news and information. Integration is the feeling of belonging. To be able to belong, one needs to have knowledge of the surrounding society. Forming of that knowledge requires subjective news media.

Keep up the good work and congratulations,

Good quality is always in demand

I want to congratulate the Finland Times staff for their excellent work over the past three years and I hope to see similar quality also in the future. The media plays a central role in society in terms of culture, language and democracy. We all benefit from topical, objective news and high-quality background briefings that enhance understanding.

The Finland Times puts this idea into action. Its reporting is diverse, open and balanced, it tells about Finnish culture and about life in Finland. Because the Finland Times is published in English, it is a window to Finland for foreigners in Finland, for Finnish people abroad, as well as for foreign audiences.

There is no success without vision, courage and a spirit of enterprise. I wish the Finland Times every success in its valuable mission and many good years in the future.

Finland Times continues its important works

As the Chair of the Finnish Green party I want to congratulate the Finland Times Daily on its’ anniversary. Three years already! Well done!

As you, the readers, undoubtedly know, we are living through difficult times in Finland, Europe and the world as a whole. In these times it is critically important that people can follow the current affairs in such a high quality media as the Finland Times. An independent and professional English media also ensures that Finland is attractive to migrants that want to live and work in Finland.

To us free education is a fundamental principle as well as equality between people and preserving this planet for future generations. Equally important is that Finland becomes more and more attainable and unobstructed when it comes to internationalization. We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world, and one way to ensure that does not happen is to participate in active and lively debate about issues here and abroad, now more than ever.

The Finland Times plays a very important part in the lives of the English speaking community in Finland. We wish that the magazine will continue its important work for years to come!

Finland Times continues contributing to Rovaniemi’s development

It is nice to see Finland Times stepping into the fourth year of its publication. I am happy that besides providing current news and information for the public, Finland Times, the country’s first online English daily, also continues to contribute to the development of Rovaniemi.

I know that Finland Times has been successfully catering news and information of public interest which has made it popular in a very short time. The Rovaniemi City Corporation will always be beside Finland Times in its journey forward.

I hope the newspaper will continue to provide its readers with up-to-date news and interesting information. I wish it all the best and all success.

Lapin Kansa stands beside Finland Times

In a globalised world, Finland constantly needs new instruments of communication with the international community. Finland Times, the first online English newspaper in Finland, has successfully fulfilled this task for three years now. As the editor-in-chief of a Finnish newspaper in Lapland, I am proud and happy that Finland Times is published from Rovaniemi, the heart of Lapland and the Arctic region.

On behalf of the Lapin Kansa staff, I congratulate Finland Times on celebrating its third founding anniversary.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a joyful Christmas season.

Finland Times our partner in Arctic Forum

International cooperation and networking have always had an important role in the activities of Lapland Chamber of Commerce. The breakthrough of digitalization is today increasing opportunities to inform companies around the world about business potential in Lapland and European High North. Growing significance of Arctic Regions and cooperation, climate change and huge investment potential are on the other hand speeding up the demand for international communication regarding northern regions like Lapland.

Our Chamber organizes annually Arctic Business Forum which introduces the latest business development and future prospects of the arctic, and plays as an arena and meeting point to discuss the opportunities and obstacles of business. Arctic issues being the expertise area of the Chamber it has been involved in the preparation process of the Arctic Economic Council and, it is a significant business partner of the Northern Forum and it is active in all international forums in order to show we want to promote sustainable Arctic business in our region. In spite of all these activities we need also modern and international media to tell about our efforts.

Finland Times has been an important partner for Lapland Chamber of Commerce almost from the very beginning of its activity. We are implementing the 7th Arctic Business Forum in April 2016 once again in partnership with Finland Times and cooperation continues also after that. On behalf of the Business Community of Lapland I want to congratulate Finland Times for successful first three years and wish good luck in growing to more and more important part of international media.

Wishing success to Finland Times

The Rovaniemi City Corporation is optimistic about the future of Finland Times, the country’s first online English newspaper, which is celebrating its third founding anniversary.

The daily, with many constraints to my knowledge, has not only been providing updated national and international news and information for the public but also highlighted various socio-cultural events of public interest in Rovaniemi.

We, at the Rovaniemi City Corporation, hope that the relationship with the Finland Times will continue to grow stronger.

I wish all the success to Finland Times.

Three years gone, many to come

Cultural and Recreational Services, Rovaniemi City, congratulates the country’s first online English newspaper Finland Times. Three awesome years behind and hopefully many good years ahead. The professional cooperation with Finland Times has been fantastic and it is really an honor to be your partner.

International visitors are important for us in the fields of culture, sport and youth work and we believe that Finland Times continues to uphold the journalism that reaches foreign visitors as well as interested local people.

Happy anniversary Finland Times!

Finland Times plays necessary role

During the past year we have witnessed great changes in international politics. We have also seen very heated domestic discussions, often basing on biased and inaccurate sources. In times like these it is even more important to develop reliable channels of information. Finland Times is establishing itself in a very crucial role, informing about Finnish news and developments to an audience who does not follow Finnish language sources. These audiences can be found internationally and also increasingly inside Finland.

In my work in an international research community I can clearly see the need and relevance of what Finland Times is doing. I warmly congratulate you for the good work.

Finland Times celebrates 3rd anniversary

Quality journalism key to refugee integration

Matti Posio, the Editor-in-Chief of the Lännen Media, Lapin Kansa Editor-in-Chief Antti Kokkonen, Professor Riitta Brusila, of the University of Lapland, Director of Finnish Red Cross Society Outi Pärnänen, Markku Heikkilä, Director of Arctic center Elina Katajamäki of the Lapland Police department took part at the discussion. FTimes Photo by Iqbal Hossain.
Speakers in a discussion on Thursday emphasised the importance of quality and responsible journalism for integrating asylum seekers into the mainstream society.

They also urged the news media to point out the pros and cons related to refugees and create a positive image of them.

The discussion on “The role of news media in integration of refugees” was organised by the online English daily Finland Times at Ravintola Metsäkartano in Rovaniemi marking the newspaper’s third founding anniversary.

“Any media is a power tool and can play a significant role in the society,” observed Lännen Media Editor-in-Chief Matti Posio in his keynote speech.

Professor Riitta Brusila of the University of Lapland, Finnish Red Cross Society Director Outi Pärnänen, Arctic Centre Director Markku Heikkilä, and Elina Katajamäki of the Lapland Police Department were the panellists in the discussion moderated by Lapin Kansa Editor-in-Chief Antti Kokkonen.

The Rovaniemi city mayor, Esko Lotvonen along with other participants at the Finland Times anniversary programme. FTimes Photo.
The keynote speaker outlined the common misconceptions and prejudices surrounding the immigrants and presented some future views on immigration and employment of immigrants in Finland. He also underscored the influence of media in relation to legislation and the society.

Earlier, in his address of welcome, Finland Times Chief Editor Ofiul Hasnat narrated how the initiative bring out the country’s first-ever English online news daily came by and the sweet and sour experiences of the last three years.

“Every venture has a mission. We, at Finland Times, are trying to present absolutely unbiased news and information and, in the process, build up trust among our readers at home and abroad,” he said.

With the slogan “where accuracy is dealt with acumen,” the online newspaper has always strived to practise objective journalism beyond any political agenda or gossip, trying only to disseminate undistorted, un-tampered facts, said the editor of Finland Times.

The Chief Editor of Finland Times, Ofiul Hasnat and Publisher Markku Broas started the celebration party at the end of discussion. FTimes Photo.
He however said, “Although we are neutral, on some issues like environment, globalisation, fundamental rights, humanity, education, and health the newspaper has its own policy to always play a pro-people role. This paper will continue its strong activities against fundamentalism, religious superstition, racism and injustice with the view to establish a world of prosperity and happiness.”

Rovaniemi City Mayor Esko Lotvonen, and Finland Times Publisher Markku Broas and Executive Editor Jarno Valtonen, among others, also addressed the gathering.

Mayor Lotvonen congratulated the daily and appreciated the role it plays in relation to Rovaniemi. He said Rovaniemi is an international and multicultural city, and Finland Times plays a significant role in updating the international community on what is happening here and in this country.


150 birth anniversary of two legendary artists

This year we are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of two great Finnish artists, Jean Sibelius and Into Konrad Inha. Sibelius is world famous for his seven symphonies, the Finlandia Hymn and the Valse triste, but the Finnish audience hardly knows about I. K. Inha. He is considered one of the least known masters in the Finnish art history.

Inha (1865-1930) was a photographer, writer, translator and journalist. He was an integral part of the artistic movement called the golden era of Finnish art at the end of the 19th century. He played as important a role as Sibelius in the movement of national romanticism but was left in the shadow of the great composer Sibelius and the painter Eero Järnefelt. Inha, Sibelius and Järnefelt met several times and they got their inspiration from the same landmarks, e.g. Koli hill in the eastern Finland.

Inha was a multitalented, renaissance person. He was the first master of Finnish photography at a time when photography was not yet an established art form. He called photography black art. It refers to black and white photography, which was the main stream of photography until the late 20th century.

Photo credit: I.K. Inha, Hanko,
Pictorial Finland 1895-96

In 2015, there have been several photo exhibitions of Inha across Finland. Writer and researcher Panu Rajala did a book on Inha’s life. The book Enthusiast (Intoilija) was nominated for the Finlandia Prize 2015, but did not win. Laura Lindstedt’s book Onerion bagged the literary award this year.

Inha travelled intensively around Finland from south to north and west to east. He did a famous photo book, Pictorial Finland (Suomi kuvissa), with captions in six languages. This large book was published and mainly printed in Wien in 1895-96. Inha depicted nature and urban life in a picturesque but very personal and for that time a very modern way.

Inha was the first Finnish photographer who studied the essence and soul of winter nature. He worked with his cameras like painters with their brushes. In Inha’s pictures we can see, how the snow covers nature and icebreakers, but also how people hunted seals on the ice and how did skiing competitions happen on the river.

Inha studied photography abroad and took mainly landscape images in Germany, Austria and Italy. He made many of his trips by cycling. He even imported bicycles to Finland. The Finnish word for bicycle (polkupyörä) is often claimed to have been named by Inha.

How I see free expression today

Nobel laureate Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore made an observation on the dangers of religion in politics, saying, “Greece has been ruined in excess of religion, Rome lost its face in extreme religion and the cause of our danger lies in religion, nothing else.” It was the British colonial period in the Indian sub-continent. Tagore was irritated by the British ‘divide and rule’ policy. That was the beginning of the use of religion in South Asian politics. Today we can see how dangerous it really has been. India has a Hindu fundamentalist prime minister, Pakistan has almost collapsed from the emergence of Islamist fundamentalists, and Bangladesh is trying her best to survive fanatic forces like Jamaat-e-Islami, several leaders of which have been convicted of crimes like rape, killing and arson during the Liberation War of Bangladesh. As a consequence, at least five progressive writers and publishers have been killed by Islamist extremists in Bangladesh in 2015.

In 2006, I was on a fellowship at a university in Mexico City. There I learned that the campus had previously been part of a church complex. It was a surprise for me, since in South Asia we cannot imagine of a church or a mosque or a temple being put into use as a school. The next surprise for me was to find my advocate’s office in an old church on Kungsgatanin Uppsala. These experiences of mine in Latin America and Scandinavia were quite different from what we see in South Asia.

Once I was asked by a journalist, “What is the importance of free expression in democracy?” I said, “It is the core of democracy and the well-fare society.” Compare Norway, an oil-rich country in Scandinavia, with a Middle Eastern oil-rich country like Saudi Arabia. Norway is offering safe haven to nearly 20 writers under the ICORN programme. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is punishing free thinkers and voices like Raif Badawi.

Despite this positive state of free expression in Scandinavia, we have a number of things to address. It is a political as well as diplomatic failure on the part of Sweden that Dawit Isaak is still in prison in Eritrea. It seems to be an intellectual fag for us to talk about Dawit’s case without initiating any effective move. Also in Sweden, FRA (Försvarets Radioanstalt) has been intercepting radio signals since 1942. However, up until 2009, FRA had been limited to wireless communication intelligence (COMINT), including wireless phone and Internet signals, something that was also left largely unregulated.

In Norway, despite stressing more openness and democracy after the Breivik terrorism, the trend of profiling people racially has been a phenomenon. The authorities did not respect the call of the Norwegian PEN to offer asylum to Edward Snowden. The fact was almost similar in other Scandinavian countries.

If you are born in Finland, Finish becomes your mother language officially, no matter if your parents’ language is Persian or Japanese. Institutional monopoly is also a barrier to free expression or finding platform of expression in Scandinavia. Dagens Nyheter’s former chief editor Arne Ruth asked me what the difference is between Bangladesh and Sweden in this regard. My answer was, “Here we witness institutional block and Bangladesh faces institutional lack. Both are equally good and bad. So I see.”

The way out of all these obstacles to free expression is to continue to raise voices for functioning democracy and welfare society.

Greeting Message

Congratulations Finland Times

Congratulations on your third anniversary!

It is encouraging to see that you are still providing an interesting source of news about Finland in English. Best of luck for the future.

Finland Times: A wide window of business promotion

I congratulate Finland Times, Finland’s first-ever online English daily, to have arrived at the point of celebrating its third founding anniversary. The newspaper has consolidated its position as a source of credible news and a way of getting publicity of our businesses. I believe it has created a new window of opportunity for business houses to introduce and promote their products and services at home and abroad. I have received a significant level of positive response after publishing advertisements of my business in Finland Times and so hope that the business community will extend its cooperation to this vibrating online daily. It will help it consolidate its commercial viability.

Wishing suuceess of Finland Times

I am happy to hear that Finland Times is going to celebrate its third anniversary after successful operation since December 2012. This year the Online English daily is going to organize a discussion on refugee issue, the burning issue of the country as elsewhere in Europe at this moment.

I hope the Finland Times will continue its operation in future.

Happy Birthday to Finland Times.

Finland Times is now a trusted news source

In the constantly changing world, it is important to stay informed and get reliable information about what is happening at the local, national and global levels.

The digitization of our society has made it imperative that many daily services like electricity supply and information are transmitted quickly to us.

With a view to address this need, Finland Times was launched in December 2012 as the country’s first daily English online newspaper. During the first three years of its operations, Finland Times has attracted a considerable readership, while its popularity has been growing rapidly both in Finland and abroad. In this very short time, Finland Times has established its place as a trusted news source.

Congratulations Finland Times – the whole team has done an excellent job!

I wish you all the best and all the success in the future!

Finland Times reflects high journalistic standards

As most of its readers know by now, Finland Times celebrates its third founding anniversary on December 10, 2015. Being a loyal follower and reader since the day of its “birth”, I would like to share my opinion on Finland Times and the role of this publication within the English-speaking community on the Internet.

My first reflection is that Finland Times has been growing and becoming more and more popular among the international readers in Sweden during these three years. That would certainly not have been the case, had not high journalistic standards been set from the very start by the founder and chief editor of Finland Times, M. O. Hasnat.

Secondly, it is evident that this newspaper serves a long-standing need of an alternative, well-researched and well-written English-language news source on Finish and international development, from a Finish standpoint.

Seen against the backdrop of a growing number of expatriates and refugees in Finland, this is a role that cannot be sufficiently underlined.

Thirdly, Finland Times opens up a possibility for international analysts and opinion-makers to actively partake in the shaping of ideas and views on political matters that are at the very core of the society today.

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