Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) should shed light on his recent e-mail correspondence with Atte Jääskeläinen, the acting editor-in-chief at YLE, states Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance.
“YLE's Administrative Council should also examine the situation,” she says in an interview with Uusi Suomi.
The Administrative Council, the highest-decision-making body of the public broadcasting company, consists of 21 Members of the Finnish Parliament.
Sipilä found himself amidst a press freedom row after it emerged that he had sent a series of e-mails to Jääskeläinen and Salla Vuorikoski, a journalist for YLE, expressing his displeasure with a report about a 500,000-euro contract awarded by Terrafame, a state-owned mining company, to Katera Steel, an engineering company owned by his relatives.
Vuorikoski published her e-mail correspondence with the premier on Facebook on Thursday. Sipilä, for example, voiced his bafflement with the public's continuing trust in the impartiality of the public broadcaster.
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“YLE's reporting has been so biased in this electoral term that there isn't even a need for an opposition,” he is quoted as writing by Vuorikoski.
Vuorikoski later clarified that she decided to publish the e-mails without the consent of the senior editorial staff of YLE.
Sipilä also engaged in an e-mail conversation with Jääskeläinen, as a result of which he changed his mind about cancelling all of his upcoming appearances on YLE, with the exception of his appearance on YLE's A-Studio on Wednesday. He explained that he would not comment on the issue until the completion of an ongoing inquiry into the possible conflict of interest by the Chancellor of Justice.
The Administrative Council should also comment on the position of Jääskeläinen, according to Andersson.
Jääskeläinen has come under heavy criticism from Baba Lybeck, the host of YLE TV1's Uutisvuoto, a popular weekly quiz show based on the format of Have I Got News For You. Pekka Ervasti, a former senior political correspondent at YLE, has estimated that the number of stories shelved has crept up during the tenure of Sipilä.
Helsingin Sanomat has revealed that Sipilä also sent e-mails to the public broadcasting company last spring. YLE's senior staff then decided to limit reporting of the capital redemption contracts of Sipilä.
“The premier doesn't understand that it's his responsibility to dispel the persistent suspicions,” says Andersson.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi