The very first newspaper published in Finland was the Swedish-language and pompously named Tidningar Utgifne Af et Sällskap i Åbo, founded in 1771. At present, the Finnish media company KSF Media is the largest publisher of Swedish-language newspapers, while magazines are usually independent.
The famously named Hufvudstadsbladet is popularly called HBL, Husis or Höblä. Although the newspaper’s name refers to the metropolitan region, the magazine is read nationally, and it is the largest daily newspaper in Sweden with a circulation of just under 30,000 copies. Hufvudstadsbladet can also be subscribed to digitally and some current articles can be read free of charge in the news feed in the app HBL 365.
Sweden’s second-largest newspaper, Vasabladet, is published six days a week and focuses on Ostrobothnia. The web also has Sevendays, the Vasabladet podcast and blog initiative aimed at young adults.
Other important newspapers, in addition to the above Åbo Underrättelser (ÅU), also includes Österbottens Tidning, Västra Nyland och Östnyland. In these, international news is combined with local reporting. In autonomous Åland, the local newspapers Nya Åland and Ålandstidningen are published.
Magazines play a central role in the Finnish-Swedish culture and media sphere: the fact that even within a small minority there has existed and still exists a large number of different cultural magazines, has long been a source of pride. The journals have often contributed to the design of alternative ways of defining Finnish Swedishness and also promoted an increased sense of community.
Many of the Swedish-speaking cultural magazines in Finland receive financial support from, for example, the Ministry of Education or from foundations, but despite the difficulty of financially maintaining a publication, the magazines have dedicated and enthusiastic readers. The Association Tidskriftscentralen works to increase the visibility of Finnish-Swedish cultural magazines, and participates in book fairs in Helsinki and Gothenburg, among other places.
Most Finnish-Swedish magazines have a long history and have survived thanks to the editors’ ability to renew and change outdated concepts. An exception to the rule is the long-buried satirical Garm, which was published in 1923-53 but which has retrospectively reached a legendary status thanks to Tove Jansson’s long-standing collaboration with the magazine. Garm is today known for having published the first incarnation of what later evolved into the Moomin role.
Long-lived Finnish Swedish magazines include, for example, Astra, Eos, Horizon, Kuriren, Ny Tid and Nya Argus. Newly founded publications are often experimental – among them, the magazines Kontur and Poster Stories can be mentioned as examples .
Astra is a feminist newspaper established in 1919 and is published four times a year. Between 1992 and 2012, the magazine was called Nya Astra, but in connection with a renewal, the original name was reverted. Astra mainly publishes texts about society and culture, and most issues have an overall theme. In addition to paper magazine, Astra is also digitally published.
Eos is a children’s magazine founded by Alli Trygg-Helenius who also ran the publication for 33 years. Since her death in 1926, Eos has been published by a sobriety association and is currently published eight times a year. The magazine is based in Vasa.
Horisont is a magazine focused on literature, founded in 1954 in Ostrobothnia. The publishing rate is 4 issues per year, and the magazine includes book reviews and articles as well as poems and essays. Like Astra, Horizon also comes with theme numbers, often poetic ones.
Kontur started in the early 1990s as a standalone cultural supplement to Ny Tid. During its lifetime, the magazine has fallen into hibernation in several rounds and then resurfaced with a new crew. The latest incarnation of Kontur was released with its first issue in January 2018 and already won the award for this year’s Finnish Swedish cultural magazine. Nya Kontur is an experimental publication focused on community: all issues have two editorial staff, and many of the texts are written by a writer duo rather than by individuals. Since the journal is financed entirely with the help of scholarships, it is project-oriented and does not come out regularly but on the basis of financial conditions.
Kuriren is an Ostrobothnian newspaper founded in 1959 and published 20 times a year. The magazine mainly reaches an older readership, and its main content consists of texts on health, food and leisure and Finnish-Swedish reports.
Ny Tid is a cultural and social magazine that is party-politically independet but has a red-green ideology. It was founded in 1944 and since its inception has been a leftist publication which first appeared as a daily newspaper, later as a weekly newspaper and since 2015 as a monthly magazine. The magazine has had several prominent writers – for example, Claes Andersson, Elmer Diktonius, Jörn Donner, Monika Fagerholm and Kjell Westö contributed to Ny Tid.
Nya Argus is a cultural magazine that has been published since 1907 and is published in 10-12 issues per year. The magazine focuses on longer, essayistic texts of which a selection can be read online.
Posterstories is a free publication founded in 2016. Its concept is to combine graphic design with text, and the publication always consists of a weighted graphic poster with a newly written short story on the back. Poster story subtitle is “stories you can hang on the wall” and it is distributed in public places.