The states public service company Yle has a Swedish-speaking unit that produces news broadcasts and operates the TV channel Yle Fem. It also provides two of the most popular Swedish-language radio stations in Finland: Radio Vega and Radio X3M. Svenska Yle also has a website on which everything from news articles to interviews, reviews and essays is published.
Across five regional versions, this wide-ranging national public broadcaster offers a comprehensive news service, regional information, culture, talk shows and music in Swedish. Radio Vega’s music content specifically emphasises music produced in Swedish from Finland, ranging from classical to jazz, pop and folk music.
Launched in 1997, Radio Extrem (X3M) is aimed at a younger audience than Radio Vega. The channel mainly plays contemporary pop music and is known for programs such as its morning show and the sex education program Sex & Sånt.
While a number of television broadcasts from Sweden are available in most parts of the Swedish-speaking Finland, by far the most popular locally produced channel targeted towards Finland Swedes is Yle Fem. There are also local cable television companies producing programmes in Swedish.
Yle Fem offers a range of news, movies, children’s and youth programmes, documentaries and current affairs. Sport and culture also feature prominently in its programming. Although this public service channel is tailored towards Finland Swedes, most of its programming is also subtitled in Finnish, thus allowing its audience to broaden out beyond Swedish speakers.
Learning Swedish via the media?
A recent poll of foreign-language residents in Finland by Helsinki Times revealed that 70% of respondents believed Swedish to be an easier language to learn than Finnish. So, switch on your television, open the newspaper or turn on your radio and take an important step towards communicating in Finland’s other official language.
Media in Åland
Making up 9 percent of Finland’s Swedish-speaking population, this island region is located between Finland and Sweden. The population of 29,000 is served their own local media, including the newspaper Ålandstidningen, which is published six times a week.