Editorial offices need to openly discuss their work processes, says Erja Yläjärvi, Editor-in-Chief of Iltalehti. The media can retain the trusting relationship with its readers by increasing openness.
How does Iltalehti realize responsible journalism and how is it reflected in practice?
Tabloids follow the same principles as any other news media. We assess the stories, make sure our facts are correct, think about headlines. We follow the Guidelines for Journalists. Tabloids have a more popular style, and stories about entertainment and lifestyle have a larger role than in other publications. The headlines must intrigue readers but not shock or humiliate anyone. Our duty is to provide services quickly and in abundance. In the Internet age, the differences between tabloids and other media have grown smaller. The portrayal of women has grown more equal and news of crime does not gorge on details.
How is responsibility reflected in daily journalism at Iltalehti?
Responsibility is integral to journalism. It is reflected in conversations about stories, editorial meetings and headlining. The measures can be quite mundane. If a story is misrepresented in our media, we set the record straight and engage in discourse. Our journalists want to work in line with sustainable principles.
How does Iltalehti promote quality journalism in its editorial operations?
In the digital era, Finnish society has transformed itself. The world is full of false information and rumours. It is important for Iltalehti’s future to check the facts. A positive common trait for all Finnish media is that all newsrooms want to correct their errors.
Every year, Iltalehti participates in journalistic training events and various projects of Alma Media. We are committed to the objectives of responsible journalism shared by all the Alma editorial offices whose aim is to develop high-quality, responsible journalisms in the long term. The editorial offices thought about what quality journalism means to them in different contexts.
What is the role and responsibility of media companies in this so-called post-fact era?
The question is, to which types of opinions and statements do we give exposure? When the language of politics, for example, becomes harder, we cannot simply repeat what is said around the world. We must present the information in context. It may have been easier in the past when lies and false claims were not circulated as extensively. The role and responsibility of media agencies are related to our own choices and values. Alma Media supports a democratic society and pluralism instead of serving as a soap box for any type of talk.
What does Alma Media do to retain the trust of its readers?
We must be open about our ways of working and our choices. The readers no longer take everything the papers and journalists say at face value. We must participate in discourse and explain the reasons behind our operations more actively than before. We have made a clear distinction between news and advertising content. Enabling the reader to tell the difference between news and adverts benefits not only the reader but the advertiser and Iltalehti as well.