Media | JSN and the Association of Editor-in-Chiefs: The legal process for HS suppliers should be as transparent as possible

In its statement, the association points out that only publicity allows for a fact-based social debate on the subject.

Helsinki The legal process for message editors should be as transparent as possible, as demanded by the Public Speech Council (JSN) and the Association of Editor-in-Chiefs in their statements.

Three journalists from Helsingin Sanomat were charged with disclosing a security secret and attempting to disclose it.

In December 2017, HS published an article about the Finnish Defense Forces Message Testing Center, which was intended as a starting point for a series of stories. The story told about the activities of the Secret Center for the Defense Forces, and the source was documents classified as secret. Little information had previously been made available to the public about the Message Testing Center. In addition to the center, the case dealt more broadly with military intelligence and national defense.

The charges attempt to disclose are due to articles planned to be published but not published.

The JSN calls for particular transparency as to the grounds on which merely considering the publication of a story or making it ready for publication could be punishable without the story being published.

The main suppliers the association says it shares the same view with JSN. The Association of Editors-in-Chief emphasizes particular transparency in prosecutions for unpublished cases in court proceedings.

“All the journalistic work up to the final publication of the story is a preparation where one can also end up with a solution not to publish the story. Therefore, the prosecutor’s decision that the unpublished case would be a crime attempt is alien from the editors’ point of view, ”the association’s statement says.

The Council on Public Speech is very concerned about the possibility that the trial may lead to a restriction of freedom of expression on grounds that are in part secret.

JSN states in its statement that freedom of expression is an important right for the functioning of a democratic society. However, freedom of expression has been restricted due to other important rights and social interests.

The statement of the Association of Editors-in-Chief states that publicity of the trial and freedom of the press are key cornerstones in an open democratic society. The association further points out that only publicity allows for a fact-based social debate on the subject.

In his statement in 2018 on the importance of freedom of expression and the relationship between the Journalist’s instructions and the law, JSN stated: “The Journalist has a duty to ensure the exercise of the public’s right to information and the transparency of social power. That is why freedom of the press is fundamentally tense in relation to the exercise of social power. ”

According to JSN, these tensions will ultimately be resolved in court, as is now happening.

BTI Editor-in-Chief Minna Holopainen is the chairman of the Association of Editor-in-Chief.

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