Yle's Board of Directors has named Jouku Jokinen, editor of Tampere daily Aamulehti, as the new head of its news and current affairs division. Jokinen will serve as Editor-in-Chief of Yle's news and current affairs output, with Riikka Venäläinen continuing as the second-in-command in Yle's news department. Jokinen will report directly to Yle CEO Lauri Kivinen.
Jokinen has been editor of Aamulehti since 2010, and before that headed up Pori daily Satakunnan Kansa, and has also worked in leadership roles at Helsingin Sanomat.
The company's board emphasised Jokinen's lengthy experience in journalism. Jokinen himself said that Yle has a special place in Finnish journalism because there are tasks only the public broadcaster can execute.
"Yle has the best resources to take care of foreign news," said Jokinen. "The other thing is the regions, because Yle's network covers the whole country. The third thing is sport."
Yle's market share 'problematic'
Some of Yle's competitors have criticised Yle's strong position in the market. Jokinen admits that from Aamulehti's perspective the situation has looked problematic.
"Sure it is a small problem, that the nationally-owned media company's market share is growing all the time," said Jokinen. "Here in the private sector there's some dismay that resources have diminished and in Yle it feels like they're still in good shape. Sometimes it's felt that the market share has not been all that fair."
Jokinen's predecessor Atte Jääskeläinen resigned in May after a months-long discussion about the independence of Yle, following controversial decisions over how to cover the Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's family links with a sub-contractor of a state-owned mining firm. A report ordered by Yle's board said that Yle's response to the scandal was 'arrogant'.