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Yle ends Latin news service

Yle shutters its weekly Latin news bulletin after 30 years on the air.

temppelin pylväs
Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Nuntii Latini’s final broadcast aired on 14 June, after three decades of programming.

Some 40,000 people regularly tuned in to the five-minute Friday evening bulletin on Yle Radio 1. Latin enthusiasts could also access the show online, extending its reach to an international audience which included the Vatican, according to the programme-makers.

Nuntii Latini was originally slated for shutdown back in 2017, but Yle continued the programme for another 18 months following a public outcry from Latin scholars.

Yle’s creative director, Ville Vilén, praised the programme’s contributions to the spoken Latin community, but said,“Yle has put a lot of resources into a language practiced by hobbyists worldwide. Yle’s responsibility rests with serving a Finnish audience.”

Nuntii Latini has been the only regularly broadcast news programme in classical Latin in the world. It offered listeners a review of recent world news as well as human interest stories.

The three-person team behind the programme, Tuomo Pekkanen, Virpi Seppälä-Pekkanen and Reijo Pitkäranta, have been with the show since it launched in 1989.

"Some of my most memorable moments have been writing about the Estonia ferry disaster, the Twin Towers in New York and the Indian Ocean tsunami," said Pitkäranta.

Latin teachers often harvest Nuntii Latini for teaching material, as audio and transcripts of shows dating back to 2011 are available online.

In addition to programming in Finnish and Swedish, Yle produces news in English, Russian, Sami, Romani, Finnish sign-language, easy Finnish and Karelian.

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