World Association of News Publishers

Finland - engaging the young then and now

Finland - engaging the young then and now

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CONTACT: Hanna Romppainen, Hanna.Romppainen[at]



The Finnish Newspapers Assocition has launched its first online news product for kids ( and published new learning materials (Jutuntekijän opas and Vikkilän Sanomat).

The 2017 Press Week  continued with the "Is this true?" theme from 2016, now focusing on social media bubbles and nsource criticism within them.

The association also did a qualitative survey that continued with the themes of the 2016 survey of young teenagers.

Download a presentation about the project at the bottom of this page.


Started in 2011, the “Do You Read” campaign, which targets 15-year-olds, has since seen almost one in every five of that age (more than 13,000 young people) read and review a specially commissioned short story that was published in three parts in newspaper print editions all over the country. The winning reviews were also published in print. Members of Finnish Newspapers Association ranked it third among the association's services in 2013. Pictured above is the 2014 winner, Maija. Former manager Jonna Tolonen described the campaign for an international audience at the 2013 WAN-IFRA Youth Engagement Summit in Poland. You can learn the details below and download a PDF of that presentation at the bottom of this page.


It was in 1964 that the Finnish Newspapers Association began a nationwide programme that taught teachers how to use print editions as supplemental texts in all kinds of classes, from language to history and even mathematics. It has been instrumental in helping shape the country’s media literacy curriculum while championing freedom of speech and reading. 

By the 1970s, social studies teachers were also taking courses about using newspapers, and the Finnish Newspapers Association provided guides as the curriculum introduced schools to mass media education. Newspaper Week started during this period, with newspapers distributed free to schools and its activities expanded to upper primary schools

Full school year subscriptions were granted in 1984. At this point, publishers decided to supply schools with free newspapers when requested by teachers, and the focus grew to include primary schools. The programme also added an emphasis on advancing reading skills.

In the 1990s, NIE's reach expanded to include preschool children and to the internet with the association introducing its first pages for schools and reading passport workbooks. First research showed a clear link between newspaper reading and scoring on the international PISA reading assessments. 

After 2000, school curricula began to particularly encourage cooperation with local newspapers, thanks to the work of the association. Additional teaching tools and electronic lesson tips went online, as did teaching material relating to freedom of speech and environmental issues. 

For example, in 2012, the association published “What can we say?” the country’s first educational material about hate speech and freedom of expression. A booklet compiled from different Finnish print newspapers and websites targeted 15- to 19-year-olds, and was accompanied by a guide for teachers. The guides have since been used in teacher training and in adult education programmes.

The Finnish association was a founding member of WAN-IFRA's Young Reader Committee and has long supported WAN-IFRA's international outreach, including acting as host to the 2003 World Young Reader Conference, “Newspapers and the Young in a Mobile World.” 


50 years of NIE

Finnish NiE's 50th anniversary celebration reatured release of many special articles, teaching materials as well as pupils´ work books throughout 2014 and, in September, a special national seminar in Helsinki. That event featured the launch of a history of NIE written by Pirjo-Riitta Puro, who had been a founding member of WAN-IFRA's young reader committee, and the formal induction of Finland as a WAN-IFRA Center of Youth Engagement Excellence.

Newspaper Week 2014: new ideas for teachers and youth

Several new teaching materials for teachers were released during Newspaper Week 2014 as well as a special “MY MONEY”-magazine for 13–17 -year-olds were released for Newspaper Week. Finnish version of the magazine can be found at

More than 600 000 print newspapers were delivered to schools all around Finland. Most of the newspapers had no pay wall in their news sites and opened their archives for the teachers for the whole week.

NiE Strategy for 2014−2015: Parents & education actions

NIE strategy will focus on two new areas in the next months: 1) Implementing wide-scale media education actions and 2) Encouraging parents to read to their children

Do You Read? campaign –  more background

First, read under the photo at the top of the page to get the general idea. Here' is some more background:

The associatin works with Finnish Publishers Association (books) to encourage the reading of both newspapers and books as well as effective writing of commentary. 

Here’s how it works: The winner of the Finnish Publishers Association’s Finlandia Junior Prize writes a short story (10 000 characters) for the campaign. This unique short story is published in newspapers in three parts. Fifteen-year-olds write reviews of the short story that are published in the newspapers. The best reviews are rewarded with class field trip stipends (first prize 1 500 Euros).

New material for math teachers

New material for teachers about how to use the newspaper in math class was released in September 2012. A downloadable guide, “Countless Numbers,” gives ideas how to use newspaper in math classes of 6th to 9th graders (12 to 15-year-olds) It is available at (in Finnish)

Environmental Focus on NiE Materials

A new material called “Environmental Journalist” was released in May 2011. It is a booklet for 14-17 year-olds and has a focus on various global environmental issues. The booklet was created with WWF and Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre. So far over 5 000 booklets have been divided among Association’s members.

Also a booklet about the environmental impact over a newspaper’s life cycle was released in 2012. The information is based on a study collected over three years time from the Finnish paper manufacturing industry, raw material suppliers and transport companies. This booklet targets 12- to 16 year-olds.



Aralynn McMane's picture

Aralynn McMane


2011-11-25 17:33

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