Protesters of Extinction Rebellion Finland are currently gathering in front of Sanomatalo, the office building of the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, to demand more comprehensive and truthful coverage of the climate crisis from media houses. The demonstration begins Extinction Rebellion Finland’s campaign #kirjoitakriisistä (“write about the crisis”), which includes a series of demonstrations taking place place across Finland during the spring.
The ongoing eco-crisis is the greatest threat of our time, and should be reported as such. As a reminder of the rapid worsening of the climate crisis, a frozen newspaper has been taken to Sanomatalo. The simultaneous protest starting outside Sanomatalo is performative in nature. “Artistic means are now needed to elicit a deep emotional comprehension of the seriousness of the situation,” Extinction Rebellion Finland activist Eeva Rajakangas characterizes the form of expression.
The media has failed to communicate to the general public the true extent and severity of the climate and environmental emergency in an effective and comprehensibe manner. “The climate crisis should be a cross-cutting framework for all news coverage. The current news coverage does not provide a complete picture of the effects of the climate crisis and accelerating wave of sixth mass extinction, ” says Joel Tainio, an Extinction Rebellion Finland activist. The topic is covered in fragments and there is not enough media space given for in-depth, investigative journalism, even though the topic has been shown to be of great interest to the public. Internationally, parts of the media has increased its climate coverage, as well as made publication and media company specific climate promises. As the Fourth Estate, the media must take concrete steps to increase crisis awareness in Finland, too. “Example could be taken from Sweden, where the daily paper Aftonbladet just recently started real-time, daily news reporting on climate crisis. In Finland, the media’s efforts seem to be limited to media stunts such as Climate Pen (by Helsingin Sanomat)” continues Extinction Rebellion Finland’s Joel Tainio.
Extinction Rebellion Finland calls for the climate crisis to be highlighted as a constant burning news in accordance with its true nature, and for an environmental perspective to be brought to the fore in all news coverage. The campaign also encourages publications to create dedicated sections on climate crisis communication, which would address the issue from the perspective of a diverse set of scientific, cultural and artistic disciplines. The aim of the campaign is not to attack journalists or disrupt their work, but to call for the responsibility of media houses.
Extinction Rebellion Finland is part of the international Extinction Rebellion movement, which seeks to awaken the general public to demand world leaders to halt the progression of the sixth mass extinction, and to minimize the risk of social collapse caused by the climate and environmental crises. The tactics used by the movement include non-violent civil disobedience.
Sanomatalo’s protest will be carried out in accordance with the corona restrictions.
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