Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company for approval

Press release 11.03.2022 16.54 fi sv en

A woman with a phone (Photo: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/Ministry of Transport and Communications)

The Government proposes that the President of the Republic approve the amendment to the Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company and that the date of its entry into force be 1 August 2022. The Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, is to be amended so that the text-based online content published by YLE would be more closely linked to its audio or video content broadcasts.

The proposal specifies the role of YLE as a public service media house and brings the regulation on the company into line with EU state aid rules. Following the amendment, the text content should in most parts support the releases containing video or audio material. As is customary in matters concerning YLE, the legislative amendment has been prepared at parliamentary level.

There are certain exceptions to the regulation that allow YLE to publish text content independently. The exceptions are:

1. Short text content published by YLE on the basis of cooperation with a national news agency, e.g. the Finnish News Agency, STT.

2. News briefs relating to breaking news situations.

3. Official announcements broadcast under law.

4. News content in text form published in Saami or Romani languages or addressed to other minority language groups in Finland.

5. Cultural and educational text content.

The aim of the amendment is to specify the regulation on the public service duty of YLE and to ensure that YLE can continue providing text content as part of public service broadcasting. The amendment will also clarify the current regulation in terms of the operating environment for commercial media.

The legislative amendment is based on the complaint submitted in 2017 by the Finnish Media Federation (Medialiitto) to the European Commission concerning state aid for YLE. The Finnish Media Federation requested the Commission to resolve, whether public funds could be used for publishing journalistic content that is not related to public service broadcasting.

What's next?

The Government proposes that the President of the Republic approve the amendment to the Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company and that it would enter into force on 1 August 2022. The Transport and Communications Committee of Parliament requires in its report that a transition period of four months be applied to YLE before the Act enters into force. The President of the Republic is expected to approve the act on Friday, 11 March 2022.

Inquiries:

Roosa Patrakka, Coordinator, roosa.patrakka(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 192

Lauri Mustonen, Senior Specialist, lauri.mustonen(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 252

Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, sini.wiren(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 532