NEWS | 11 Sep 2017

Finland: Reports review Yle’s online local news

Public service companies’ news online cannot be proven to have any harmful effect on the commercial media market. This conclusion can be found in a Finnish report on a review of Yle's regional online news activities in relation to the newspaper market. The authors’ conclusion is based on a number of Nordic studies on the possible impact of public service content.

In spring 2017, Yle's Administrative Council received two reports reviewing the company’s local and regional news content online. Both reports were prepared by researchers at the Comet Research Centre at the University of Tampere in Finland.

The reports serve as the factual basis for an ongoing discussion of Yle's role, and more specifically for a public value test of Yle's digital news services (link in Finnish*) performed in the spring, following a request from the Finnish media industry organisation.

Public service regional news and the newspaper market. The first report reviews Yle's regional news offering online, and tries to assess its possible impact on the newspaper market.

It is based on analysis of a number of studies on public service content online and its possible impact on the commercial market. The arguments asserted in the examination request are then examined in light of the latest available research results.

Examples of studies included are national media investigations in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain (PDF) from 2015-2016, in which the authors find no evidence of clear impact on the commercial market. The authors also find it difficult to build a research design that can prove the effects of public service operations on the media market.

About Yle's online news in Swedish. Yle (Swedish Yle) regularly produces news for Swedish-speaking Finns in five local editions, each with its own front page. The second report describes the use of these services in 2016 and 2017.

It shows that the number of page views of Yle’s local news content in Swedish was comparatively low, totalling 2-8 per cent of all page views on the Swedish Yle website. The number of page views is also low in comparison with Finland's commercial Swedish-language news media. However, the number of unique visits (web browsers) is increasing.

*Om förhandsprövning av de regionala nyheternas webbtjänster.


Read the reports (in Finnish):
Report on Yle's regional news and newspaper market
Yleisradion alueellisten verkkouutisten vaikutus sanomalehtien verkkopalveluiden markkinoihin
Report on Yle's Swedish-language online news
Selvitys Yleiosradion ruotsinkielisten alueuutissivujen sivunäyttö ja verkkoselainmääristä

More about current media investigations in Finland: In recent years, Yle’s role and funding, as well as the conditions for national media companies on the Finnish media market, have been the subject of several investigations and policy proposals.



Translated by: Eva Harrie