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Yle in 2021: a year of major sport events for all time, more culture, and a voice for the voiceless

Kaksi miestä kuuntelee radiota ja tuulettaa urheilutuloksia.
Year 2021 is full of major sport events and emotions. Kaksi miestä kuuntelee radiota ja tuulettaa urheilutuloksia. Picture by: Laura Mainiemi / Yle Yle,radio,brändikuvat 2020

In accordance with the strategy that took effect in May 2020, Yle aims at improving its relationship with children and young people, to reach all Finns, and to be significant on a personal level. Successful digital services and a selection that appeals to the Finnish public better than before are in a key position in this.

“In 2021 we will get to share moments of great significance both on a societal level and in sport and culture. We want to increase our presence and our interaction with Finns – both physically and virtually. Yle also has an important role in the experience of inclusion. More than ever before, Yle wants to be for all of us, for each of us”, says Yle Chief Executive Merja Ylä-Anttila.

A new team that will be set up inside the Yle News and Current Affairs unit will reach out to a younger audience. They will be producing news and current affairs journalism for schoolchildren and young adults under the age of 30. The young people’s newsroom will start at the beginning of 2021.

An interactive year for high-profile sport events; municipal elections take centre stage in the spring

The municipal elections in the spring will have a strong presence on Yle channels and on the internet. Yle will open its candidate selection engine for the municipal elections in the spring, and the engine will also be offered to ten commercial media outlets. Big election debates, party leaders’ interviews, and a debate for small parties will be held from 18 March on Yle TV1 and Yle Areena and on Yle radio channels.

A ten-episode documentary series Politiikka-Suomi (“Politics Finland”) will follow in the footsteps of Rock-Suomi (“Rock Finland”) and Urheilu-Suomi (“Sport Finland”), digging deep into the core of societal influence in Finland.

The year in sports will be even bigger than expected – a year for major events of all time. In addition to the Tokyo Olympics we will see the historic men’s UEFA European Football Championship, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, including the winter games tube, and the Men’s European Volleyball Championship to be played in Finland. Versatile interactivity will have a strong presence especially in sport programming.

Yle will also be mingling among Finns, when possible, when the Yle Pointti city festival, which was cancelled this year, takes place in the coming summer. The festival will be held in the spirit of Yle’s 95th anniversary.

Accumulation of cultural programming and a new chief conductor for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra FRSO will get a new head conductor when Nicholas Collon starts in the post in the autumn of 2021.

Yle has a unique mission in the field of Finnish culture. Kulttuuricocktail, which started online at the beginning of the year, will expand when a weekly live cultural programme starts on Yle TV1 and on Yle Areena. Podcasts will also be part of the whole.

“In addition to extensive presentation of culture, Yle also produces cultural programming of its own. We want to make this versatile programming even more easily available to the public. Under exceptional conditions, the need for culture and the power of culture are paramount”, says Ville Vilén, Director of the Creative Content and Media unit at Yle.

Better public debate and a voice for the voiceless

The task of Yle is to help people feel that they are part of the society around them. In the new year, space will be given to those whose voices are not heard in society as well as those of others.

Documentary series, such as Unelma Lapista, (“Dream of Lapland”), Papisto, (“Clergy”), and the second series of Topi – nuoren miehen elämää (“Topi – the Life of a Young Man”) draw attention to people, ideas, lifestyles, and circles that are not often seen in the media.

Hyvin sanottu – Bra sagt (“Well Said”), which aims at improving the quality of public debate, will get on the move in 2021. Fake News Escape Room by Svenska Yle, the Swedish language Yle operation, will be visiting events in bilingual communities more extensively before. Escape Room, which promotes media literacy, teaches viewers to better recognise and distinguish between fake news and reliable news production.

Yle’s board of directors adopted the company’s action plan for 2021 at its meeting on 17 November 2020.