Breaking the News (Papers)


Viikko 36


Date: Oct 13th, 2014
: THB that media owned by minorities should be strengthened sensibly in this country
Role: MP (govt.)

For the very first time, the Swedish Finnish patron of Swedish life in Finland, KSF Media, has been compelled to make staff redundant at its newspapers Hangötidningen, Hufvudstadsbladet, Loviisan Sanomat, Västra Nyland and Östra Nyland. The second-mentioned is the biggest and best out of this lot, and its mission is to be read in the whole of Finland, although it is heavily based in Helsinki. Its circulation reaches circa 38.000 people. About 6.000 have taken a combined subscription of that newspaper and one of the smaller ones, aiming to be hip to both national and local affairs. Curves are, nonetheless, going South. Namely, KSF made a loss of 5.8 million euros last year. The f(o)unding fathers and mothers have set the limit at 3 million a year, so the grim reality is that the newspaper(s) have just about doubled their allowed loss quota. What should the main newspaper do, what should it trim and how should it streamline its activity — in order to not saw off the branch it is sitting on, and, thus, survive into the future?

Ms. Barbro Teir, CEO, claimed that readers are often interested in so-called ’peripheral material’ such as cartoons, columns, crosswords, sudoku and TV-program guides. Staffan Bruun, one of the (now resigned) reporters, part of the seasoned staff, pointed to the importance of sports and politics and the need to have reporters at the scene when something happens in those two arenas. So far, the best examples of this thinking are Anna-Lena Laurén and Juri von Bonsdorff, who are the Russian and U.S. correspondents, respectively. Other Scandinavian capitals Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Reykjavik could also, theoretically speaking, be well represented in the paper.

Not taking my answers from staff, what do as a reader myself expect of ”Husis” (= pet name)? What would retain me as one of its readers? I speak passable Swedish and understand it just as well, if not better, when I’m reading (in) it.

To me, the main thing is the ability to learn new words off the pages of the paper. I have a semi-versed vocabulary, but I’m always, always on the lookout for novel words, preferably those that are minted, topical and contemporaneous. Newspapers are good disseminators of them. So, it is vital that editors have superb grammar and wide schooling and a general sophistication that they have not missed out on. This is the primary motivation for me to read the paper. But, and this is crucial, that does not preoccupy the paper’s core customers that much, as they’re native speakers. So, what else? What should be written about when that something is being written using good Swedish?

Swedish Finns have been accused of being ”pussified” or ”pussies” when it comes to their ”acquired taste”. This has a Darwinistic reason behind it. Devoutly Christian senior Swedish Finns are the last ones among their lot to give up on their identity, and as print, radio and TV journalists know this, they cater to this group’s needs routinely. There is, however, also strength in pussification. Some programs and content has the same kind of calming effect on me as the best nature documentaries by the BBC have. Comfort is needed in a world of air-strike images and stone-me circumstances.

One option would be to do a little syndication. Sweden proper is not in a publishing crisis. Some stories could be syndicated from there as a reflecting mirror for language-usage deviation, if not for any other reason. Also, some Swedish cartoons are superb compared with what is in Husis. It is telling that the evening tabloid Iltalehti in Finland publishes Rocky (the urban hound) by Martin Kellerman, when it could be available through Husis instead.

I would like to read about the ”Spirit of the Bourgeoisie” in the KSF papers. In a world dominated by working-class taste, it is sporadically pleasant if some write about pussified banking, education and finance, pussified golf, opera, politics, sailing and tennis. All of that should be on the agenda. The gold standard should be this: If Matti Klinge, an academic and nerd figure born in ’36 could read the article, then it was fit to print on the pages of HBL. Namely, this guy is a relic from another era and a one-man bastion of the bourgeois spirit in this country.

Tradition is often good, tradition is always conservative, and tradition has sometimes a tendency to renew itself, too.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 52 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puheen sisältö lienee hepreaa useimmille kuulijoille sekä yleisesti ottaen haukotuttavaa. Kuitenkin se sopii puolensa 3. puheeksi siksi, että painavampi ja universaalimpi aines lienee jo sanottu ja on hyvä, etteivät puhuvat päät toista toisiaan, ainakaan liian paljon. Myös puheen asia-aines (= faktat) on kunnioitusta herättävä. Tämän jälkeen whip saa koota palikat palapeliin ja tehdä niistä hyvännäköisen kuvatuksen mitään lisäämättä ja mitään unohtamatta.



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