This month, a parliamentary working group analysed the role of Finnish public broadcaster Yle.

2000px-Ylen_logo.svgAccording to the group’s suggestions, the Finnish broadcasting company Yleisradio (Yle)’s funds should be independent from the government’s state budget. In addition, the company’s administrative council, which is elected by the parliament, will have a stronger role by being in charge of regulating Yle’s future strategy.

Perhaps one of the most significant changes that were made to Yle, is the revision of its official Act. The proposal suggests eliminating the word “multiculturalism” from the organisations’ mandate, which was originally to “support tolerance and multiculturalism”.

The working group proposed this change in favour of promoting cultural diversity. “This has been changed to the form of ‘Yle’s duty is to support the preservation of the Finnish cultural heritage, tolerance, non-discrimination, equality and cultural diversity’,” said Arto Satonen, the working group chair and Conservative MP.

This change was criticised by some members of RIPE’s Global PSM Experts Network. Greg Lowe, who is also a professor of Media Management at the University of Tampere and manager of the RIPE Initiative, expressed his disagreement on social media. “The change of terminology to eliminate ‘multiculturalism’ from the governing requirements can be read variously, but hints at the anti-immigrant trend here and the (mild so far) swing towards a more nationalistic tenor,” he wrote.

Even if Yle is nowadays seen as one of the most progressive public service media organisations worldwide, this intervention could be seen as pandering to right-wing sentiment as it grows across Europe more generally.