The national broadcaster aims to improve the range and quality of news services offered to the growing numbers of native Russian speakers in Finland.
“There is a clear demand, since for example the number of Russian tourists has grown significantly in recent years,” said Yle news chief Petri Jauhiainen.
Apart from news in Russian, Yle currently produces sign-language news on television and online, as well as services in Finnish, Swedish, Sámi, English and occasionally Roma and classical Latin. English-language television bulletins are currently broadcast on weekdays at 11.05 am, with three radio broadcasts daily.
Finland is home to about 55,000 residents either born in Russia or with roots in the eastern neighbour. In addition to this group, hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists visit every year – with as many as 130,000 travelling to Helsinki last December alone. An estimated 55,000 Russian speakers live in the country.
With the expansion into television news, the company is looking to beef up its Russian news team by recruiting two Russian-language screen presenters.
Applicants should be native Russian speakers with a good command of Finnish -- “in exactly the same way that our English language journalists are native English-speakers,” Jauhiainen explained.
The candidates should also have a good understanding of Finnish society to provide background information for viewers, listeners and readers.
The new Russian television news service will be broadcast on weekdays and weekends on Yle TV1 as part of the 5.00 pm news package that currently includes Finnish and sign language news.
The Russian news service is staffed by three journalists producing content for internet and radio audiences.