The website, run by a hard-working group of editors since 1999, has been a valuable source of news for Finland’s growing international community.
It drew on the best of Finland’s biggest newspaper to provide everything from long-form examinations of the country’s politics and culture to the inside track on municipal decision-making around big infrastructure projects.
The service has apparently become a casualty of Helsingin Sanomat’s decision to introduce a so-called ’porous paywall’ for their Finnish language online offering.
"There are some technical reasons . Our publishing system is changing, of course we are taking a paywall into use in November and all these things added up so that we decided to close it down for the moment," said Managing Editor Kimmo Pietinen.
Foreigners in Finland disappointed
After the shutdown was announced, more than a hundred people contacted the editor to express their thanks for the service. Some were a little irate that a previously free service had been taken away from them.
Foreigners in Finland expressed their disappointment on social media. @hugovk tweeted about feeling 'sad to see HSInt Ed go, it really helped me feel part of this city and country'. @ChristianNorocel added that the International Edition 'provided a minimum insight into Finnish society & complemented Yle News. Is it up to blogosphere now?!'.
The International Edition started life as Finland took over the European Union's rotating presidency for the first time. With the closure coming just after the country had lost out to Australia and Luxembourg in the race for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, researcher Toby Archer (@TobyinHelsinki) saw the decision as another blow for Finland’s efforts to put across its message in the wider world.
Managing Editor Pietinen acknowledged the need to do something, after the current upheaval in the newspaper’s offering has settled down slightly.
"We don’t have any concrete plans as to what we’ll do, but of course we realise that for our reputation and for the international audience, we would like to have something in English anyway," explained Pietinen.
So there may be light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering from International Edition withdrawal symptoms.
Those bemoaning its demise may soon be able to read it again, then—just so long as they are willing to pay. If and when the service does make a comeback, Pietinen says that it will probably be behind a paywall, like the rest of the newspaper from the start of November.
Until then, readers will have to make do with the International Edition's extensive archives.
Latest in: News
Five-vehicle crash near Kotka kills two
Part of Highway 7 remained closed five hours after the collision.
Swine flu shots boosted adult risk of narcolepsy, too
The national health agency has confirmed that kids weren't the only ones with an elevated risk following the H1N1 jab a few years ago.
Nine people now affected by datura poisoning
Nine people have now been affected by datura contamination from frozen vegetables sold by a Finnish supermarket. Most symptoms are mild, with dry mouth, a quickening pulse and weakened vision the main effects, but some people have required hospital treatment.
Finland criticised again in Amnesty report
The human rights organisation’s annual report is highly critical of Finland’s treatment of asylum seekers. Finland was condemned for deporting asylum seekers without in-country appeals, and the practice of incarcerating children seeking refugee status in police facilities.
FFE: One in four businesses made a loss in 2012
A quarter of all Finnish firms lost money last year, according to the in-house magazine published by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises (FFE).
Baby boomers' alcohol "timebomb" set to hit Finland
Experts fear that retiring baby boomers may over indulge to such an extent that Finland could soon be forced to deal with a large cohort with unusually high levels of alcohol dependence. Incorporating messages about alcohol into basic healthcare will be key to fighting the problem.
Finnish income gap lower than European average
Income differences in Finland are below the average in Europe, according to Statistics Finland. The gap between richest and poorest is largest in Latvia and Bulgaria and smallest in Norway and Iceland.
Two tumble from Töölö balcony
One man died and another was seriously injured on Wednesday morning when they fell from a fifth-floor balcony in the Töölö district of Helsinki.
Evira: Don’t use datura-laced SOK veggies
The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has warned consumers not to use a frozen vegetable product sold by the SOK group that was found to be laced with seeds from the highly toxic datura plant.
Itella chops 180 management jobs
The state mail delivery and logistics company launched retrenchment talks in mid-April with the aim of cutting 350 jobs.