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Privacy complaint filed over PM paparazzi photo

The complaint to the media watchdog cites respect for human dignity and the protection of privacy.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin spoke at the Presidential Palace on 15 May. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN) has received a complaint regarding tabloid magazine Seiska's publishing of a photo of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP).

The publication of the paparazzi-style photo of the prime minister, taken from behind while she was pushing a baby carriage in Helsinki, has sparked a lively public debate.

JSN Chair Eero Hyvönen said that the decision on whether to file a formal complaint with the Council will be made before the Midsummer holiday in late June.

"If so, the complaint will be dealt with at a Council meeting in late August," he said.

The complaint was made by an unnamed individual, citing respect for human dignity and the protection of privacy (Guidelines for journalists, paragraphs 26 and 27).

According to Hyvönen, there is no precedent case to this complaint. Several hundred complaints are filed each year, but there is no certainty about past cases, as searching the complaint archive is a monumental task, he said.

The JSN is a body set up by media publications and journalists to interpret fair journalistic practice and to defend freedom of expression and publication.

A complaint to JSN can be made by anyone who believes that there has been a breach of fair journalistic practice in the media.

Seiska's editor-in-chief, Jari Peltomäki, defended the publication of the picture to Yle earlier this week on the grounds that it was a news image among many others.