Haaga-Helia’s study programme for immigrant journalists shortlisted in Suuri Journalistipalkinto

The study programme for journalists with immigrant backgrounds has been nominated for Journalistic Act of the Year in Suuri Journalistipalkinto 2021 (Grand Journalist Award). The study programme is organised by Haaga-Helia’s degree programme in Journalism.

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The jury justifies the nomination as follows: "The number of journalists with an immigrant background is quite small in Finland. The study programme at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences aims to change the situation by helping journalists who have moved elsewhere to work in their new home country. At the same time, new players give Finnish journalism new opportunities to expand on topics and perspectives that have received little attention before. The project brings more diversity to journalism in globally growing Finland."

“Finnish society is rapidly diversifying, but industries have not been able to keep pace with development. Competences should be recognised more comprehensively. For example, good language skills can not only mean that you know Finnish perfectly, but it can also mean that you know five other languages,” says Journalism Lecturer Reetta Nousiainen, who has played a key role in developing and implementing the studies for journalists with immigrant background.

"Together with editors, journalism education can be involved in solving issues such as how immigrants integrate into professional life and enrich public discussion in Finland," says Nousiainen.

The annual Grand Journalist Award is the most significant recognition for journalism in Finland. Haaga-Helia's journalism education won the award in spring 2016 and has also been nominated in spring 2019.

“It is not self-evident that our journalism education receives such recognition year after year in a journalism competition. We can be really proud and content that people in the industry feel that we are seeking and finding solutions which are very much needed in the field.”, says Degree Director Anne Leppäjärvi.

Alongside Nousiainen and Leppäjärvi, the studies have been developed and taught by Esko Hatunen, Panu Hietaneva, Ulla Huovinen, Taija Hämäläinen, Päivi Peltonen, Kaijaleena Runsten and Pauliina Siniauer. Tuuli Itkonen and Henna Penttilä have supported in the arrangements of the education.

The winners of the Suuri Journalistipalkinto are announced on World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2022, in a live TV broadcast at Nelonen from 7 p.m. onwards. The award categories include Story of the Year, Journalistic Act of the Year, Journalist Boss of the Year, and Journalist of the Year.

Haaga-Helia's study programme for journalists with immigrant backgrounds has been developed and implemented with the help of a government grant from the Finnish National Agency for Education and a grant from the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

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