Finland | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)



A new Law on Freedom of the Press, prepared with input from media organizations, went into effect in January. It requires that all publications, including Web-based outlets such as blogs and listserves, name a responsible editor in chief and archive published materials for at least 21 days. In addition, Finnish law, which gives every citizen the right of reply and to have false published information corrected, has been extended to Internet publications. In November, two journalists, Seija Selisto and Pekka Karhuvaara, respectively convicted by Finnish courts of libel and of violating the privacy of a politician, saw their rulings overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. Finland has vibrant independent media that express a wide variety of opinions without government restriction. More than 200 newspapers are published. Newspapers are privately owned; however, some are owned or controlled by political parties and their affiliates and support a particular party. In the broadcast sector, the government operates four of the five national radio stations and two of the four national terrestrial television stations but has a much smaller presence in cable and satellite television. New broadcasters have emerged in a market that was once dominated by the public broadcaster YLE and the established broadcaster MTV.