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Friday’s papers: Complacent media, lost youth and ticket disruptions

A journalist says the Finnish media failed to do its job ahead of the election, more young people collect disability pensions and HRT overhauls its fare system.

Nuori nojaa päätään käsiinsä pöytää vasten.
Image: Ritva Tarkki / Yle

In a letter to the editor of Hufvudstadsbladet, journalist and author Staffan Bruun says that ahead of the general election, the Finnish media failed to confront Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho on his most outrageous statements, such as wanting to bring charges against Finnish volunteers aiding migrants in the Mediterranean. As an example, Bruun claims that before the polls, no journalist pressed Halla-aho when he said he considered it illegal to help drowning children.

Bruun said the Finns Party’s immigration-centred party platform dominated election debates, allowing the nationalist party to project 2,700 asylum applications filed in 2018 as the country’s biggest problem.

Now that Halla-aho is attempting to present a sanitised version of himself as the leader of Finland’s second-biggest party, the country’s media outlets have taken an interest in Halla-aho’s blogs writings, but it’s too little, too late, writes Bruun.

Finland's lost youth

Business magazine Talouselämä picks up on youth marginalisation, reporting that improved employment figures don't extend to young people who have fallen through the cracks or those struggling with mental health issues.

Between 2016 and 2018, the number of 16 to 29-year-olds receiving disability pensions rose by nearly one thousand to 15,622, according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Some 20,000 children and young people currently risk multi-generational marginalisation, according to TE.

Within at-risk groups, employment prospects have improved the most among young people with vocational schooling.

Ticket disruptions

National daily Helsingin Sanomat reminds readers that HRT’s ticket overhaul comes into effect on Saturday, 27 April at 4.30am. The update means it won’t be possible to purchase tickets from machines or load travel cards on Saturday.

Disruptions to ticket sales are in store on Saturday as 3,100 card readers, over 500 ticket machines, some 1,700 onboard devices will be updated.

The system renewal is four years behind schedule and has cost 100 million euros, according to HS.

More information is available in English at Helsinki Regional Transport.

Edit: Updated at 2.28pm to clarify that 2,700 asylum applications were filed in 2018.

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