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Media watchdog names investigative reporter as new chair

Elina Grundström has won the state non-fiction prize for twice for investigative journalism that often probes Finnish relations with developing countries.

Elina Grundström.
Elina Grundström Image: Yle

Finland's Council for Mass Media has a new chair, journalist and author Elina Grundström.

Grundström takes over at the beginning of next year from Risto Uimonen, 67, who held the post for two three-year terms. He is a former editor at Kaleva and Helsingin Sanomat, BBC journalist and biographer of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

Grundström, 52, is a former editor of the Greens newspaper Vihreä Lanka and a visiting professor at the University of Tampere. She has won the state prize for non-fiction twice for her investigative journalism, which often delves into Finland's relations with developing countries.

Last February Grundström publicly criticised Uimonen for his comments on Islam following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris.

First woman, first full-time chair

She will be the organisation's first female chair, and its first to serve as a full-time employee. The term has also been extended from three years to four, with a maximum of two terms for each chair.  

The Council for Mass Media was set up in 1968 by journalists and publishers as an industry watchdog to ensure good journalistic practices and defend free of speech and publication.

Finland has led the World Press Freedom Index for the past five years.

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