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Radio broadcasting begins in Finland

Radio broadcasting begins in Finland. Before independence: “Flying messages by wireless air telegraph” (langaton lennättäminen ilmatelegraafilla) at the turn of the century between Kotka and Suursaari Radio amateurs developed clandestine activities in Helsinki and Tampere

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Radio broadcasting begins in Finland

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  1. Radio broadcasting begins in Finland • Before independence: “Flying messages by wireless air telegraph” (langaton lennättäminen ilmatelegraafilla) at the turn of the century between Kotka and Suursaari • Radio amateurs developed clandestine activities in Helsinki and Tampere • During the Civil War the White Civil Guards (Suojeluskunnat) took over the radio equipment left behind by the Russian army • Spark telegraph corporation (Kipinälennätinlaitos. 1919) • 1919 radio law: • only the state may build and use radio broadcasting equipment. • private bodies may apply for rights for max.10 years at a time. • Government bodies grant broadcasting licenses and supervise activities

  2. The supreme command of the Civil Guards (Suojeluskuntien yliesikunta) began broadcasting in Helsinki • Nuoren Voiman Liitto began broadcasting in 1921 • Radio associations began to crop up → 1254 radio transmitters by 1924 • Finnish Radio Society issues a statement: “In the name of sound development all attempts toward creating a broadcasting monopoly should be resisted.”

  3. A meeting called to solve the ”broadcasting question” 10.10.1924 • Organizers: radio equipment traders who have sponsored broadcasting, radio amateurs and the Journalist Association (Sanomalehtimiesyhdistys) • It was agreed unanimously that it was necessary to start a national broadcasting corporation • A committee was set which representatives of relevant ministries were invited to join • Within a year the committee made a proposition about beginning nationwide broadcasting

  4. The proposals of the committee • Technical facilities should be created by the state • A company in a monopoly position should be in charge of programming • The company should be widely representative of different factions of the society • The programmes should be non-partial and educational • The programmes should reach the entire nation, both technically and in terms of content

  5. The needs of rural areas should be especially taken care of • News broadcasting should be organized in close operation with newspaper organizations, the Finnish News Bureau (STT) and the News Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs • A reasonable licence fee would be charged and shared between the state and the holder of the charter. • During time of war and natural disasters the state may take over broadcasting activities

  6. O.y. Yleisradio A.b. is founded in 1926 In preparing and organizing programming the aim of the company is to promote national education, communicate useful information, provide edifying and innocent entertainment taking particularly into consideration the needs of those living far outside commercial centres and generally the dispensing of knowledge and artistic achievements accumulated in centres of culture to the wider population of our country. The needs of both linguistic groups should be taken into consideration in organizing programming

  7. The monopoly is strengthened • 1934 radio law: Yleisradio gained ownership of all radio transmitters in the country • The state share of the stock was 90 % • According to the law charters could be granted to other corporations, but in a separate agreement between the state and YLE the state agreed not to do so • In an agreement covering years 1935-39 YLE was entitled to keep the licence fees entirely

  8. Rapid expansion • By 1939 more than 333 000 licenses • First sound recording equipment in1935 • Magnetophones from 1939 • First ”sound car” 1937 → broadcasts from outside the studio • Keeping up national feeling and serving as a source of information during the wars

  9. After the war • Hella Wuolijoki serves as the managing director • ”Hellaradio” leftist sympathies cause irritation • According 1948 ”Lex Jahvet” YLE becomes subordinate to the Parliament in order to secure democratic control • The first ”great normalization”: Wuolijoki is replaced by Einar Sundström • Programming is to be neutral and provide enlightenment, entertainment and news

  10. Beginning of television broadcasting • First experimental television broadcast in 1950 at Stockmann’s • Experimental broadcasts by the Radio Engineers’ Association in 1955 • Tekniikan Edistämissäätiö (TES) began regular broadcasts in 1956. Commercial basis was formed in 1959 as Oy Tesvisio Ab • TES-TV Charter served as a licence for broadcasting also in Tampere and Turku. Activities in Tampere were consolidated by forming Tamvision Tuki Oy in 1961 • YLE begins experimental broadcasts in 1957 under the name Suomen Televisio (STV) and regular programmes early the following year

  11. Founding of Oy Mainos-TV-Reklam Ab in 1957. MTV rented broadcasting time from STV. Leasing charge was to be negotiated annually • STV began news broadcasts in 1959 • Programmes on every day of the year since 1962 • Tesvision fails in the competition for advertising revenue and is unable to invest and further expand its activities • In January 1964 YLE bought Tesvision as well as Tamvision. The latter formed the basis of YLE’s second channel • Competition in programming was virtually abolished

  12. News on television • STV begins broadcasting news by reading bulletins provided by the Finnish News Bureau • ”Camera rounds” (kamerakierrokset) provided images of outside activities • News magazines from autumn 1962 • From 1965 daily two Finnish and one Swedish language news broadcasts • After TV2 is started the main news are broadcast simultaneously at 20.30 • Plans for a specifically designed news studio • Material from abroad on film, usually with at least three days delay

  13. Early programming • STV lead in broadcasting time given to children’s programmes (15,5%) • Foreign fiction and current affairs (both 14, 4%), • Tesvisio: entertainment (23.9%), foreign fiction (15,2%) • Tesvision began lifestyle programming, the quiz show Tupla tai kuitti and Levyraati (modelled after the British Juke Box Jury), both eventually taken over by MTV • Television theatre was thought of as culturally democratic element

  14. Programming becomes standardised • Pertti ’Spede’ Pasanen produces sketch entertainment for MTV: 300 episodes in 1964-1974 and then 1984-87 and later on Speden Spelit -contest programme. • Hannes Häyrinen in Kaverukset (1962-65) and Hanski (1966-1973) – the former modelled afer Hancock’s Half Hour (BBC). • Sitcoms: Me Tammelat, Naapurilähiö • TV2:n ”entertaining serial drama”: Heikki ja Kaija (1961-1976) Rintamäkeläiset (1972-1978) • Series related to domestic and foreign politics such as Sodan ja rauhan miehet (1978-79)

  15. “Repo radio” • Eino S. Repo become the director general of YLE in 1965 • YLE leadership become increasingly left wing • “Informational programming policy” with the purpose of providing intellectual stimuli to the audience • Vote of non-confidence to Repo because of ”morally substandard programmes” which have undermined social structures and “desecrated holy values and activities” • A similar vote of non-confidence in the Parliament

  16. YLE makes a long term plan • A committee including Kaarle Nordenstreng, Yrjö Ahmavaara and Pertti Hemánus was set up to draft a long term plan • Informative broadcasting was to be critical, i.e. it should promote ”progressive ideas” • Concept of ”agenda setting”: media has the power to determine what is being discussed • Nordenstreng: ”Mass communication, from advertising to news broadcasts, functions as a means of manipulation and guidance” • Programming guidelines (ohjelmatoiminnan säännöstö, OTS) are issued. Programmes are to be impartial, based on true information and facts, and they may not represent any one single ideology. Activities must be independent of commercial and party political interests

  17. The battle over communication policy • In the 1970 ”radio election” the Coalition and the Finnish Rural Party gained a major victory. The majority in the parliament and the YLE administration shifted to the right • Erkki Raatikainen, SDP party secretary becomes the new Director general – YLE’s second grand “normalization” • YLE become increasing a party political bone of contention • The Governing Board delegated responsibility to programme committees, memberships allocated on party political basis • Are programmes in line with the foreign policy of the nation? • 1971 law on broadcasting responsibility (radiovastuulaki): programme editors became responsible for programmes being balanced and not of criminal nature • Together with the communication policy committee (Viestintä- poliittinen komitea,1973-74) parties formulated their own lines

  18. According to the report of the Committee on Communication Policy: • Freedom of speech can be realized in the best possible way when public communication takes place free of economic interest by means of communication owned by the society. • Cable television in particular should be operated by YLE or a similar organization and the necessary infrastructure should be built and maintained by the Ministry of Post and Telegraph Services • Satellite communication should take place within the framework of an integral communication policy

  19. Against the monopoly • Some members of the committee, led by Osmo A. Wiio submitted a dissenting opinion referring to the freedom of speech of the individual, civic liberties and pluralism • Wiio prepared his own memorandum (1973) in which he proposed that the ideal of freedom of speech should be realized in as a wide a sense as possible on radio and television. Although there are reasons for maintaining state control on broadcasting, this does not apply to cable services • According to the Cable television law of 1987 cable services are to be licensed but belong to the sphere of free enterprise and the criteria for granting charters can only depend on the ability to pursue programming

  20. Cable television breaks the monopoly • Helsinki Cable television (HTV), backed by banks, insurance agencies, the Finnish Business and Policy Forum, the Economic Information Office etc, started in 1975 • In the left wing press HTV was referred to as the ”Wild big capital cable-tv” • Three channels: H(elsinki), T(ieto), V(iihde) A decoder was needed for viewing the entertainment channel. • HTV news were local and seen on Mon-Fri. During weekends current affairs magazine programmes • Advertising revenue did not increase as expected → no more own production, not even news, after 1980

  21. Ten O'clock News • The Perttunen committee (1979-83) recommended allowing local radio activities and MTV to broadcast news • MTV demanded the right to broadcast news • In 1981, after the Centre Party changed its view on the question of news monopoly, YLE Governing Board granted a two year trial period for MTV news • “Kymmenenuutiset” began on 1.9.1981 • Local news offices in 10 cities – with airports • Promise of 75% of domestic news – as opposed to YLE:s 60% • YLE refused to support MTV:s application to join EBU • Until 1988 only news older than 24 h could be broadcast

  22. Local radio activities begin • After the Perttunen committee made its proposals in 1983, Finnish Federation of Local Radios was founded. • Among the founders were local newspapers, Finnish Business and Policy Forum and the Economic Information Office • Jaakko Numminen, the first secretary of the Ministry of Education, was invited to act as its chairperson • It was estimated that Finland could accommodate two radio frequencies / commune → there could be up to 1000 stations • In 1989 charters were granted to 42 radio stations

  23. The birth of Channel 3 • The question about a new, commercial channel was discussed among YLE, MTV and Nokia (1984-5) • Major newspaper houses began competing for their own television channel. Sanoma Oy starts a channel called Kanava Kolme Oy → Uusvisio Oy→ Ruutunelonen Oy • YLE accepted the plan for the founding of a new channel in 1985. The ownership was to be shared: YLE 50 %, MTV 35, Nokia 15 %. YLE charter was revised so that it could charge Channel 3 for technical services much in the same way as MTV had been charged earlier on. • In 1989 YLE Governing Board accepted that the new channel would become on affiliate of MTV • MTV agreed to operate for 10 years under YLE charter – this allowed it to become EBU member

  24. Genuine competition between channels – for the first time in Finland • New ways of ratings introduced • More systematic programming in terms of target audiences • ”Laboratory experiment of television activity” (Hellman) • As a part of the ”Great Channel Reformation” in 1993 an independent MTV3 is born – with substantial ownership by the press media, with YLE still holding a share • The government granted a charter to Channel 3. It had to pay a “public service fee” • The charter may be revised if there are significant changes in the ownership

  25. YLE’s new position • December 1993: YLE was defined as a public service corporation which need not renew its charter • The corporation became more independent from the Government, although it remained the ”radio of the Parliament” • YLE was charged with the task of supporting democracy by varied programming which should be targeted also to ethnic and linguistic minorities • Programming had to include educational and religious programmes • It must also broadcast entertainment • Standard media fee payed by everyone since 2013

  26. From PTV to Ruutunelonen • According to Jouni Mykkänen’s 1995 report MTV should have a nationwide commercial competitor. • Sanoma Oy, Aamulehti Group and Turun Sanomat started Suomen paikallis-tv kanavat Oy (PTV, 1989) to operate a cable television service • Sanoma Oy owned Helsinki Media acquired the majority of PTV shares in 1994. • PTV folded up as Sanomat owned Oy Ruutunelonen Ab was granted the fourth channel in 1996 • Programme production was entirely outsourced

  27. Other New Channels • In 1997 emerged the short lived Moon-tv and Helsingin Aluetelevisio (ATV) • 1997 Aamulehti and MTV3 are fused into Alma Media, with the Swedish Bonnier as the principal shareholder. • In 1999 appeared the Alma Media linked cable channel TVTV! and the digital City-tv, soon fused into the Alma Media Subtv in 2001. • YLE-teema 2001 • JIM (Jotain ihan muuta), SanomaWSOY / Nelonen Media. 2007 • etc.

  28. Channels as producers and byers • In the early 1980s TV companies produced most of their own domestic output • Toward the end of 1990s YLE set a committee to consider increasing outsourcing of production • A commissioner-producer model emerged, in which YLE organizes an annual round of competition for commissions for producers • There are about ten fairly big producers, although these are to a fairly large extent in foreign possession → high degree of domestic production

  29. Programming in the age of abundance • Toward the end of 1980s about 1/5 of the output is foreign fiction, ½ on MTV, 1/10 onYLE1 and 1/5 on YLE 2 • Share of informative programmes on YLE toward the end the turn of the century about 55 % , 31% on MTV3 and 17% on Nelonen • TV2 documentary project • Major productions on YLE: Holmberg’s Rauta-aika (1984) and Turkka’s Seitsemän veljestä (1989) • 1980s as the golden era of sketch comedy: Hukkaputki (1981-83), Velipuolikuu (1983-84), Hymyhuulet (1987-88) • Political satires: Iltalypsy (1993-2001), Itsevaltiaat (2001-2008) and Uutisvuoto (1998-), Hyvät herrat (MTV 1990-1996), • Competition programmes mainly on MTV/Sub: Suuri Seikkailu (2001), Idols (2003), Big Brother (2005)

  30. Small nation TV broadcasting • Two strategies for increasing TV channels: • balance strategy: second channel licensed as a commercial enterprise • consolidation strategy: two or more public channels started before licensing commercial channels • Public channels in operation before commercial channels licensed: UK:1955 (1), France: 1987 (3), Germany: 1984 (3), Finland: 1989 (2), Sweden: 1992 (2) • As the number of commercial channels increases there is a tendency to see more imported syndicated programming as a consequence of cost savings measures.

  31. Differences in the size of population and resources cause imperfect conditions for competition and limit investment in original production. • Buying one hour of Beverly Hills would cost $ 14,000 while producing one hour of domestic Danish drama at a similar level of product quality could cost $ 550,000 → • Public funding is the cornerstone for securing originated European content • Amsterdam protocol (1997): “public broadcasting in the member states is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society.” • Licence fees and channel subscriptions provide relatively stable incomes that permit better financial planning and programme cost allocation: the overall average income per viewer is fixed

  32. Television broadcasters in smaller countries are confronted with programmes and formats developed in and for larger markets → Broadcasters from smaller markets must either adapt such international formats for their national realities at the same (high) cost as larger TV broadcasters or broadcast such material unaltered at lower costs • New channels enabled by digital technology tend to establish small market niches and offer low cost programming, very often imported – rather than domestic content or news an current affairs programming Source: Small Among giants – Television Broadcasting in Smaller Countries (Nordicom 2011)

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