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Yle board voices confidence in company execs

Yle's Board of Directors has expressed full confidence in the company's CEO Lauri Kivinen and the editor-in-chief of News and Current Affairs, Atte Jääskeläinen. In addition, the board will be requiring team managers of the company's various units to report regularly on any attempts to influence or bring pressure on journalistic operations.

Lauri Kivinen ja Atte Jääskeläinen
Lauri Kivinen and Atte Jääskeläinen Image: Yle

The expression of confidence in Kivinen and Jääskeläinen was passed by a meeting Wednesday than came hard on the heels of the news that two Yle journalists had resigned from the company over what they said are restrictions on their freedom of speech and a working culture hostile to journalistic practices (see: Two Yle journalists resign citing limits on freedom of speech).

The board meeting reviewed a management group report on Yle's independence and on the working atmosphere within the company. A personnel representative also was heard by the board.

In future, the board will be requiring team managers of the company's various units to report regularly on any attempts to influence or bring pressure on journalistic operations.

In addition, Yle management was issued a requirement to keep itself better informed of the working atmosphere among company employees.

"The chief task of Yle's Board of Directors is to guard Yle's independence. There will be no compromising [that] independence. Journalistic decisions in news and current affairs operations have been made independently within the units, as they should be," stated Chairman of the Board Thomas Wilhelmsson following Wednesday's meeting.

Among the responsibilities of Yle's Board of Directors are to approve company strategy and to appoint legally responsible editors as required by the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media.

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