Government decision to isolate Uusimaa will not affect the media’s working conditions

Government Communications Department 26.3.2020 15.28 | Published in English on 26.3.2020 at 16.50
Press release 184/2020

The Finnish Association of Editors-in-Chief has expressed its views on the Government’s decision yesterday to restrict traffic between Uusimaa and the rest of the country. The Association was concerned that the restrictions would prevent journalists from travelling for work purposes and might cause media distribution disruptions. It also voiced concerns over the potential impact of the Emergency Powers Act on transparency or the work of media representatives.

The state leadership and authorities want to ensure reasonable working conditions for the media, and freedom of the press in all circumstances.

The movement restrictions imposed in the Region of Uusimaa do not apply to essential work-related travel. Persons travelling for work will be required to provide the police with an account of the destination and purpose of their travel. The movement restrictions in question therefore have no impact on the work of the media, or on essential work-related travel.

Efforts have also been made to ensure reasonable working conditions for the media at Government press conferences by sharing live stream links and photographs for general use. Arrangements have also been made with the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and the Finnish News Agency STT/Lehtikuva to ensure that all media have access to live broadcasts and photographs free of charge. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, media are no longer invited to press conferences. Instead, technical facilities are provided that enable journalists to ask questions directly over a video service.

We are engaged in continuous and constructive discussion with the Finnish Association of Editors-in-Chief on best practices in the current situation for ensuring transparency and freedom of the press.

Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 5364821