Finland’s public broadcaster to launch indigenous Sámi-language news

Sixty percent of Finland's 9,000 Sámi live outside their traditional homelands in the country’s far north. Image: YLE  The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle says it will begin airing its own indigenous Sámi-language television news in the afternoon on TV 1. The move follows years of controversy over Oddasat’s poor broadcast time.

“The aim is to improve the news service available to Sámi in Finland,” said Atte Jääskeläinen, director of news and current affairs at Yle.

According to Jääskeläinen, Yle’s own Oddasat production will focus on issues of specific interest to Finnish Sámi, indigenous people who mainly live in northern Finland. There are also Sámi in neighbouring Norway, Sweden and Russia.

“Inhumane” broadcast time

Yle’s Sámi news, catering to the some 9,000 Sámi living in Finland, will air nationwide at 3.10pm starting this autumn. At the moment, residents outside of northern Finland have to wait until midnight to watch Oddasat, produced by public broadcasters in Sweden and Norway.

Last December Parliamentary Deputy Ombudsman Maija Sakslin called Oddasat’s current Finnish broadcast time “inhumane” in light of Yle’s public service mission.

The 15-minute Swedish and Norwegian produced Oddasat will in the future air on Yle’s Swedish-language channel Fem between 10.30pm and 11pm, with subtitling available in both Finnish and Swedish.

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Yle draws criticism for Sami TV news,Yle News

Finland last to sign indigenous rights treaty, Yle News

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