Swedish-language media in Finland
An important gateway to Finland-Swedish culture is through the extensive range of newspapers, magazines, radio and television on offer, both on mainland Finland and on the Åland islands.
In 1771, the Aurora Literary Society in Åbo published Åbo Tidningar, the first newspaper in Finland. From these humble beginnings, Swedish-language media in Finland has grown into a sizeable arena that encompasses every form of media.
With newspapers such as the national Hufvudstadsbladet, nowadays HBL, and regional Vasabladet , the Vega and Extrem radio stations, as well as television channels including YLE FST5, all residents of Finland can enjoy all forms of media communicated in their native Swedish.
For a one-stop-shop summary of Finland’s Swedish-language media provided by the national broadcaster YLE — plus all of the latest news, weather, blogs and more, in Swedish, be sure to pay a visit to www.svenska.yle.fi.
Newspapers and print media
Finland ranks first in the EU and third in the world (after Japan and Norway) in the number of newspapers read per capita. Therefore, it is no surprise to find that the number of local daily newspapers on offer for the Swedish-speaking minority is notably higher here than for any other language minority in the world.
Finland has 13 newspapers printed in Swedish. The daily Hufvudstadsbladet is the most popular, with a current daily circulation of around 51,000. Serving the predominantly Swedish-speaking population of the Österbotten region in western Finland, the second-largest newspaper is Vasabladet. In addition, there are a number of regional newspapers printed in Swedish, including the esteemed Åbo Underrättelser, which is the oldest Finnish newspaper still in print.
While a number of television broadcasts from Sweden are available in most parts of the Swedish-speaking Finland, by far the most popular locally produced channel targeted towards Finland Swedes is YLE FST5. There are also local cable television companies producing programmes in Swedish.
FST5 (Finlands Svenska Television)
Literally meaning “Finland’s Swedish Television”, channel FST5 offers a range of news, movies, children’s and youth programmes, documentaries and current affairs. Sport and culture also feature prominently in its programming. Although this public service channel is tailored towards Finland Swedes, most of its programming is also subtitled in Finnish, thus allowing its audience to broaden out beyond Swedish speakers.
Media in Åland
Making up 9 per cent of Finland’s Swedish-speaking population, this island region is located between Finland and Sweden. The population of 28,000 is served their own local media, including the newspaper Ålandstidningen , which is published six times a week. Meanwhile, TV Åland is a privately owned television network that reaches all homes in the region.