Annual Report 2018

A powerful medicine against media disruption



The primary purpose of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation is to secure the future of Finnish media and quality journalism, as well as to support freedom of speech.

The Foundation may also support other research and various projects important for the well-being, development or international standing of Finnish society. The Foundation may also organize competitions related to its operations.

The Foundation maintains the Päivälehti Museum and the Päivälehti Archives.

2018 was the Foundation’s 13th operating year. The Foundation was founded in December 2005.


The Foundation fulfils its mission by awarding grants to research and training projects related to the media industry and to competitions in the field and various freedom-of-speech initiatives.

The Foundation provides the public with free admission to exhibitions on the history and future of media and contemporary media organized in the Päivälehti Museum, and records documents, photographic materials and literature related to the operations of Sanoma, Lehtikuva Picture Agency and their founders in the Päivälehti Archives. The materials are actively offered for the use of researchers, media and collective memory, as well as cultural organizations.



The Foundation processed 45 grant applications in 2018 (2017: 134) which amounted to a total of €3,827,091 (€10,014,442). Grants were awarded in the amount of €1,380,841 and fellowships in the amount of €487,719, totalling €1,868,560 (€1,990,748) for 13 (28) projects (fellowships and the directed Media2030 call for applications are included as their own projects).

The grants returned or revoked amounted to €165,159 (2017: €100,000). The costs recognized in the income statement for 2018 include tuition fees and exchange rate differences.

The recipients of the grants were informed in person. Their names were published on the Foundation’s website. Their final reports will also be published on the website.

During its years of operation (2006–2018), the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has awarded a total of €39,768,557 (2006–2017: €37,899,997) in grants and fellowships to a total of 331 (318) projects (appendices 3 and 4). The grants revoked over the years of its operation amount to €879,486 (€714,327).

Directed call for applications: Media2030

In autumn 2018 the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation launched a directed call for applications, Media2030. In the first phase of the two-phase call for applications, the Foundation asked researchers and research groups to present the Board of Trustees with research topics and problems that were crucial for the future of media. In its call for applications, the Board stated that it did not wish to take a position on the methods used or on research topics. Rather, the Board stressed that it was expecting innovative and, preferably, multidisciplinary research groups to present idea papers.

The first phase received 22 applications, of which the Board selected five to proceed to the next phase. The Foundation’s Scientific Committee interviewed all researchers selected for the second phase in January 2019 and provided guidance in their follow-up applications.

The Board will select 2 to 4 projects to be funded in spring 2019. A total of €500,000 has been reserved for the implementation of the projects.


The current disruption to the media sector requires innovations, which are often generated from pilot projects.

During the year, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation launched the fifth Uutisraivaaja media innovation competition. The competition seeks the best ideas for the development of information sharing.

The competition has two phases. Applications for the first phase ended at the end of January 2019. The applicants selected for the second phase will receive seed funding to further develop their projects.

The winner of the competition will be selected in autumn 2019. The winner (or winners) may receive up to €250,000 in development funding to implement their projects.

The Foundation also funded the Skolar Award science competition, held at the Slush technology and startup event. The Skolar Award competition allows researchers from various disciplines to present new, scientifically interesting and ambitious research ideas to a large audience and a jury. The Foundation awarded its support to Kaskas Media, which offered the competitors scientific communication training.

In 2018, the Foundation supported the Timantti (Diamond) award for visual journalism for the second time. The purpose of the award is to focus attention on the best innovations and practitioners in the sector in Finland. The association Visuaalisen journalismin kilta ry distributes the award.

Freedom-of-speech projects

The Foundation continued its cooperation with the International Press Institute (IPI). In 2018, two Finnish students worked, with support from the Foundation, at the IPI in Vienna, Austria. The purpose of the work placement was to offer young communications students the opportunity to learn about the state of the freedom of the press in various countries.

During the year, the Foundation supported the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for the sixth time.

Other grants

The Foundation’s other grants were awarded to topical projects studying the authority of the media, public trust, and the strong feelings created by immersive journalism delivered with the aid of virtual technology.

The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki is beginning to establish Finns’ views on the power, authority and reliability of traditional and social media. University lecturer Janne Matikainen’s research project, entitled “Emotions at Stake: Authority of the Media and Trust of the Audience” received a grant of €134,630 from the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

University lecturer Ari Heinonen’s project, “Emotions and responsibility in Immersive Journalism” was awarded a grant of €122,549.
The project, being carried out at the Tampere University, is one of the first in the world to study the emotional effects of immersive journalism empirically and to consider their relationship with journalistic ethics.

The third large grant of the year, of €120,000, was awarded to the University of Turku’s John Morton Center for North American Studies. The grant is aimed at research into ways the US and Finnish media reported on school shootings in the US in 2018. The project, entitled “The Challenges of Tragedy Reporting: Mediating School Shootings” is led by centre director Dr Benita Heiskanen. The project also has the aim of developing new ways of reporting on tragedies.


During the year, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation’s fellowship programme marked ten years of operations. The programme has awarded journalists with 139 fellowships to date. The Foundation has spent €5.2 million on the journalist fellowship programme.

The fellowship programme aims to develop the professional skills of journalists and, thereby, secure the success of Finnish media in a changing society.

The length of the training programmes ranges from three weeks to an academic year. The fellowships are granted to journalists at the mid-point of their career. The selection of the fellows pays attention to including journalists from various media and from across Finland.

The Foundation’s student fellows were sent to Shanghai (Fudan University), Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin), Oxford (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), Los Angeles (USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism), New York (Columbia University Journalism School) and Aarhus (Constructive Institute). In addition, a Foundation student fellow participated in the World Press Institute’s journalist programme.

In autumn 2018, applications for journalist fellowships were announced for the 2019–2020 academic year. Forty-five people applied. The most popular location was USC Annenberg (13 applicants), as had been the case in many years previously. The Foundation re-signed a contract with the European University, St Petersburg, which had regained its licence to teach.

During the year, the Foundation was part of the Wilson Center applicant pool, which granted Finnish influencers and experts working fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Two Finnish experts travelled to the Wilson Center with funding from the Foundation. The other organizations in the applicant pool are the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation and the Saara and Björn Wahlroos Foundation.


The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation operates in rented premises at Korkeavuorenkatu 28 and Ludviginkatu 2–4.

The Päivälehti Museum is open to the public throughout the year from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as by agreement. Free admission, free guided tours and accessible premises allow everyone interested to visit the Museum.

The total number of visitors was roughly 47,000 (in 2017: 48,000). There were nearly 690 (600) guided group visits. Of these groups, roughly 510 (400) arrived from various educational institutions.

The Päivälehti Archives are the most open business archives in Finland, systematically improving the availability of its materials. A total of 569 (919) enquiries concerning the documents in the Archives’ collections were made in the year. This includes enquiries made in conjunction with visits to researcher room as well as other enquiries that involved the material in the Päivälehti Archives. A total of 614 (880) researcher and other visits were made to the Archives. The photocopies and digital copies delivered from the Archives’ collections numbered 754 (1,327). Document and newspaper materials were photographed for publication purposes on 5 (6) occasions.


The Foundation organizes media-themed events aiming to promote public discussion, the visibility of science and the networking of journalists and researchers. In addition, the Foundation offers media industry operators and non-profit associations the opportunity to use the premises of the Päivälehti Museum free of charge.

In 2018, the Foundation held eight MediaMonday evenings at the Päivälehti Museum. The purpose of the evenings is to provide a forum for topical discussion related to the media, journalism and freedom of speech. The topics of the events included #MeToo, the relationship between athletes and the media, and climate change.

The recipients of the post-truth era grants presented their intermediate results at a seminar on Monday 19 March. On 9 October, the opening seminar of the Media2030 directed call was held.

The Uutisraivaaja competition was launched for the fifth time. The all-day Uutisraivaaja clinic on Saturday 24 November offered everyone interested in the competition advice and tips for succeeding in the competition.

The Foundation’s anniversary was celebrated at the Päivälehti Museum on Wednesday 26 September. The by-invitation-only event celebrated the ten years of operation of the journalist fellowship programme.

In cooperation with Vantaa City Library and Aalto University, the Päivälehti Museum developed a game concept that combined media education and gamefulness. The game, Virus!, is targeted at 4th-6th-grade schoolchildren and will be launched in schools in Media Skills Week 2019. The project’s closing seminar was held in the Museum on 3 October 2018.

On 5 November 2018, the day of archives (Arkistojen päivä) was organized in cooperation with the archives of the Finnish Literature Society. The event was entitled “Shocking – perspectives on archives that arouse emotions”.

The Foundation, in cooperation with the Anders Chydenius Foundation and the John Nurminen Foundation, organized a seminar on Freedom of Information Day (Tietämisen vapauden päivä) on Friday 30 November in the Päivälehti Museum. The topic of the event was the challenge of disinformation in the Baltic region.

The Foundation published the Helsingin Sanomat – Uutsivuosi 1918 newspaper, which shed light on the events of 1918, at the first MediaMonday on 22 January 2018. Twenty thousand copies of the newspaper were printed, and it was distributed free to Museum visitors, schools and retirement homes.


During the year, five temporary exhibitions were on display in the Museum. The exhibition year began with a joint exhibition of the Finnish caricaturists’ guild Skarpit trumputtaa (17/1–18/2/2018). The Pelle Peloton – maailman pelottomin keksijä (Gyro Gearloose) exhibtion, aimed at children and families, ran from 8/3 to 16/9/2018. In conjunction with the exhibition, which presented science, innovation and Duckburg, free chemistry and robotics workshops were organized for school groups on request.

The Skandaalista skandaaliin (From one scandal to another) exhibition, designed in cooperation with the Council for Mass Media, toured 20 towns and cities throughout the year and was on display in the Päivälehti Museum (27/9-25/11/2018) during the Council’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Over 40 school groups got to grips with the exhibition using the so-called Council for Mass Media junior method, in which young people could express an opinion on the Council’s decisions.

The Kartan valtaa – totta ja tarua karttojen takaa (Fact and fiction – the power of maps) exhibition (21/11–9/12/2018) analysed maps from an information influencing perspective, from the 16th century to the present day. The maps in the exhibition were mostly from the collections of the John Nurminen Foundation, and the Foundation’s collections expert Lauri Kaira also scripted the exhibition.

In autumn, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and the Patricia Seppälä Foundation organized a course in documentary filming for 15-17-year-olds, taught by press photographers Sami Kero and Heidi Piiroinen. The pictures taken during the course were displayed in the Aivastus (Sneeze) exhibition, which was displayed in the Museum’s auditorium (18/12–31/12/2018).


The Foundation’s collections are composed of paper and digital documents, newspapers and magazines, photographs, books and history interviews, as well as museum pieces and works of art. The collection work ensures the preservation of important materials of, primarily, Sanoma, but also other media operators, for future generations.

Documents, newspapers and historical interviews

At the end of 2018, the archival collections of the Foundation included a total of 3,376 shelf metres of manual materials (2017: 3,390). The amount of free space was 742 shelf metres (746). Digital materials at the end of 2018 amounted to 3 terabytes, of which approximately 1.4 terabytes are in the M-Files document management system and the rest, 1.6 terabytes, consist of digital video material.

There were a total of 40 (59) donations of material during the year, of which 5 (7) were one-time donations of digital material. In addition, the Archive received real-time updates to its digital communication material related to Sanoma.

During the year, normal donations of material, that is, newspapers and periodicals from 2018, were accepted.

Original digital materials, including their metadata, were saved in the M-Files system: presentation materials related to the business of Sanoma and the editorial work of individual newspapers and magazines. The group’s electronic press releases were retrieved from the Sanoma eletronic system and saved in the M-Files system.

A total of 7 (9) historical interviews were conducted with former employees of Sanoma during the year. In addition, two interviews were received from the Patricia Seppälä Foundation.

Around 400 interviews have been conducted since 1984.

Objects, photographs and library

In 2018, the collections were complemented with ten donations, which consisted mainly of objects related to the marketing, editorial work and printing technology of organizations belonging to Sanoma. Objects related to printing, among others, were received from external donors. These donations included around 50 items in total. This figure does not include professional publications and books intended for the Museum’s library. In addition, the collections were complemented with roughly ten so-called museum find donations. (This means donations previously made to the Museum, but which remained uncatalogued.)

The collections are stored in the cellars at Ludviginkatu and in Martinlaakso, Vantaa. The collections include roughly 4,600 objects, of which 2,215 have been digitally catalogued in the Akseli database. Of these, 883 have been made accessible for public viewing via the Arjenhistoria portal and the FINNA database. Of these catalogued collections, the largest are printing plates (27.6%), printing (29.5%) and editorial work (18.3%). The cataloguing and digitization work continues.

At the end of the year, the Foundation’s photograph collection contained 13,189 (12,769) digitized photographs. There are almost 20,000 photographs in total.

At the end of the year, the Foundation’s reference library’s PrettyLib library system contained 7,584 (7,346) catalogued items. This figure does not include the share of the library in stacks; there is a separate catalogue for these books. The Foundation’s collection contains a total of 10,868 (10,630) books.

Cooperation related to the collection management

In the year, the Päivälehti Archives continued to cooperate with Digitalia, a research and development centre for digital information management operating under the auspices of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk). The Archives’ materials have been used as an example in a project studying the constraints of long-term email database storage and exploring methods for storing and analysing materials.

The Päivälehti Archives and Disec Oy laid the groundwork for the commission of the YKSA software service and storage system, to be used for the long-term storage of original data materials. The archive structure of M-Files and YKSA were unified in 2018 and methods for the transfer and automatic file conversion of materials intended for long-term storage was planned with M-Files and Disec Oy. This planning took advantage of the processes developed in the Digitalia centre research project.

The Päivälehti Museum participated in the national TAKO collection cooperation project of Finnish museums, carrying responsibility for the preservation of items and traditions related to newspaper publishing operations. The Museum has also provided expertise assistance in matters related to other Finnish historical printing collections.


The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation openly and actively provides information about its operations. Its website is available in Finnish and English. The Foundation maintains social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Journalists share experiences of their fellowship periods at, and at, those who received a grant under the application theme post-truth era write about the progress of their projects.

The Foundation maintains a website on the Uutisraivaaja competition at This website was overhauled in autumn 2018 at the start of the new Uutisraivaaja period.

The Päivälehti Archives and the Päivälehti Museum have their dedicated websites at ( and, respectively).


The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation’s expense deficit of actual operating costs amounted to €3,907,327 (2017: €3,994,862), of which grants and journalists’ fellowships accounted for €1,868,560 (€1,990,748).

During the year, €691,308 was paid in salaries and wages (€691,265).

The deficit for the financial year was €5,737,850 (a deficit of €710,754).

The Foundation’s deferred liabilities amounted to €2,587,308 (€2,265,836), of which unpaid grants and fellowships accounted for €2,476,433 (€2,153,417)

No significant changes to the Foundation’s investment activities occured during the reporting year. Operations have been financed by cashflow from investments.

The Foundation’s related parties have been defined in accordance with the new Foundations Act. Its related parties include the members and deputy members of the Board of Trustees, the members of the Finance Committee, the President, the Vice President/Director of the Päivälehti Museum, the Director of the Päivälehti Archives and the auditors, as well as their family members and any organizations or foundations controlled by them.

The meeting fees paid to the members of the Board of Trustees, the Working Committee and the Finance Committee during the year amounted to €10,600 (€12,400). Fees are paid for each meeting specifically and only to the members who attend. The Board of Trustees deems the fees to be in line with general practice, considering the duties of the members of the Board and the committees and the time and expertise required.

In addition, the fees paid to the President, the Vice President and the Director of the Päivälehti Archives totalled €266,680.

The auditor has been paid according to the invoice.

The Foundation had no other related-party transactions during the year.

The Foundation did not receive any subsidies or grants during the year.

In 2018, the Foundation applied 5:2a § of the Accounting Act and made its accounting processing IFRS 9 standard compliant for the 2018 accounts. The change affects the Foundation in that the changes to the fair value of the investment funds have been recognized in profit or loss during the accounting period. The balance-sheet reference period data have been recorded to conform to the IFRS 9 standard-compliant recording practice. The reference period’s profit and loss account has not been adjusted.

The change in value of direct investment shares’ fair value continues to be recorded in the fair-value fund that is part of the balance sheet’s equity. The IFRS 9 standard requires for the accounting period’s direct share investments’ realized sales profits and losses to be recorded within equity in the accounting period’s profits, not as profit or loss.

Income from investment and financial activities was €4,048,535 (€3,353,441). Capital distributions of investment funds were €1,526,817 (€1,238,881), realized gains from securities sold were €0 (€537,378) and the dividend income was €2,296,031 (€1,280,927). Net income from the Foundation’s investment and financial activities was €1,830,522 (€3,284,108), due to the losses of €5,810,494 due to the changes to fair value of investment funds recorded in the accounting period.

The unrealized changes in the value of investments totalled -€19,924,626 (2017: €18,441,112) and were largely due to the decreaes in the price of the Sanoma share. The unrealized changes were recognized in the fair value reserve, where cumulative changes in value totalled -€53,650,231
(-€39,536,100) at the end of the year.

The change in value to Sanoma was ca. -€13.6 m compared to the previous year and investment funds decreased in value by -€5.8 m (other shares: -€0.5 m).

At the turn of the year, the market value of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation’s assets was €105 m (€127.0 m). Investments in shares accounted for 98.3% (98.8%) and fixed-income investments for 1.7% (1.2%) of the total. Sanoma shares accounted for 45.2% (48.9%) of total assets. No substantial changes were made in asset allocation during the year.

The total return on the portfolio was –12.8% (+21.5%). The investments in fixed income yielded a return of -0.4% (+0.0%). The return on Sanoma shares was -19% (+35.1%), the return on other direct investments in shares was -2.7% (+8.0%) and the return on equity funds was -7.9% (+10.1%).

The total return on investments was exceptionally poor. When evaluating the result, consideration must be given to the exceptionally high results yielded in the previous years.

Accounting and cash management services for the Foundation were provided by Balance-Team Ltd.


The main objective of the asset management is to secure the real value of the assets and to maximize the long term returns. In addition, the Foundation aims to achieve a stable and predictable cash flow and sufficient liquidity. Given the long term nature of the investment strategy the allocation to equities is high (98.3% at year end). The portfolio is usually not hedged. Since the objective is to achieve a high long term real return and cash flow short term volatility is not relevant as a measurement of risk.

In accordance with the investment strategy, the investments are diversified geographically, across industries, company-specifically and in terms of currency. The investments are mainly in liquid assets; thus, the liquidity risk of the Foundation is low.

Domestic and international economic developments affect the investments. General market risks are the main source of risk. The general development of the international equity markets and the dividend levels over the long term have a significant impact on the Foundation. The Sanoma share holding (over 45% of net assets) is the single biggest risk position.

The Board of Trustees has adopted a separate plan with regard to the Sanoma risk. Assets have been managed and investments have been made in line with the investment policy approved by the Board of Trustees. The Finance Committee oversees asset management issues.


For 2019, the Foundation has set aside two million euros for grants and journalist fellowships. Grant decisions stress inter-disciplinarity, inter-university cooperation and topicality.

During the year, the permanent exhibition of the Päivälehti Museum will be overhauled. The digitization of the Päivälehti Archives materials will focus on the Erkko family archives.

The Foundation will mark the 130th anniversary of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper by travelling exhibitions on the stages of the newspaper’s history, the Pöytäkirjojen ulkopuolella (Off the record) III writing competition for former and current Sanoma staff and a short, special exhibition timed to coincide with the Helsingin Sanomat anniversary day.


In the 2018 operating year, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation employed 11 (2017: 11) full-time employees.


Samuli Perälä, APA, and Valtteri Helenius, APA, served as auditors, with Johanna Ala-Härkönen, APA, and Jaana Salmi, APA, as deputy auditors.