Annual Report 2022




1 January − 31 December 2022


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 initiatives of importance for the wellbeing, development or international standing of Finnish society. The Foundation may also organize competitions related to its operations.

The Foundation maintains the Päivälehti Museum and Päivälehti Archives.

The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation was established in December 2005 and 2022 was its 17th year of operation.

In 2022, the Foundation was able to return to its regular operations following the exceptional years attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the entire personnel actively participated in planning the extensive modernization of the Archives and Museum in 2023.


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

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

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees decides each year the amount to be spent on implementing the Foundation’s purpose. In 2022, the Board of Trustees earmarked €2 million for grants and €0.5 million for the ordinary operations of the Museum and Archives and for planning their modernization.



The Foundation processed 87 grant applications in 2022 amounting to a total of €8,190,858. Grants were awarded totalling €1,708,000 (€1,924,000) and fellowships totalling €341,775 (€347,158), making a total of €2,049,775 (€2,271,158). A total of 14 (20) projects were supported, with fellowships being determined as one project. Grants returned, revoked or adjusted amounted to €7,173 (€151,188). Fellowships recognized as costs in the income statement include tuition fees and exchange rate differences.

Successful grant applicants were informed in person and unsuccessful applicants were notified by email. The names of grantees are published on the Foundation’s website as are the final reports of the grantees’ research projects.

During its years of operation, 2006-2022, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has awarded a total of €48,212,005 in grants and fellowships for a total of 405 projects. Grants totalling €1,239,860 have been cancelled during the years of operation.

The Foundation has a two-phase call for applications. In the first phase, applicants are invited to submit a concept paper of a maximum of three pages in which the applicant briefly presents the research plan, the methods used in the research, the research team and the preliminary budget. The Working Committee selects the most promising projects from the concept papers to proceed to the second phase. The call for applications in the second phase incudes a more detailed research plan, budget and other key attachments.

The two-phase call for applications is intended to make the grant process more flexible and to make it easier for the applicants.

Direct call for applications: Media datafication

Once a year, the Foundation holds a direct call for applications. In the direct call for applications in 2022, researchers were invited to submit applications dealing with datafication and its consequences. The theme search sought to find out, among other things, the type of impacts datafication has on journalism and research, how data analytics shape media work practices and professional identities as well as how the use of analytics affects business models and earnings logic.

To open the theme search, on 28 April 2022, the Foundation held a seminar that discussed the advantages and disadvantages of datafication and the future outlook.

Of the 15 concept papers submitted in the first phase of the call for applications, six of the most promising projects were selected to proceed to the follow-up. Those selected received personal feedback and support to make their application for the second phase. In September, the Board of Trustees granted funding for four projects:

The datafication of media work: Implications for job demands and resources, wellbeing, and professional identities, €170,000
University of Jyväskylä, the project is headed by Visiting Professor Ward van Zoonen

Journalism Shaped by Data: How Do Audience Metrics Affect Journalists’ and Audiences’ Notions of Each Other?, €150,000
Tampere University, the project is headed by Associate Professor Laura Ahva

Towards data-driven production thinking? Changing practices of film and television productions in the platform economy, €150,000
Tampere University, the project is headed by University Lecturer Anne Soronen

Pleasing the algorithm, €145,000
University of Helsinki, the project is headed by Postdoctoral researcher Tuukka Lehtiniemi

In January 2023, project researchers were invited to a joint seminar to tell about their projects and to consider potential collaboration.

Freedom-of-speech projects

The Foundation continued cooperation with the International Press Institute (IPI). Supported by the Foundation during 2022, two Finnish students worked for six months at the IPI head office in Vienna, Austria. The internship seeks to offer young media students an opportunity to learn about the state of freedom of the press in different countries. Since 2017, when the programme launched, a total of ten Finnish students have had internships at IPI. During the year under review, the cooperation agreement was extended until 30 June 2026.

The Foundation continued to support the international UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The 2022 prize was awarded to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). The prize is USD 25,000 and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has supported the prize since 2013.

Barents Press Finland was awarded €30,000 from the Foundation to implement a multilateral international educational and cultural cooperation project for journalists in the Barents region. The project seeks to support independent Russian media operating from outside Russia

Similarly, €30,000 was also granted to arrange a safe haven residency programme in Finland for Russian journalists. This support has been channelled through the international Artists at Risk organization.

Other grants

The call for grants and grants awarded in 2022 highlighted topical themes such as the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression on journalism and journalists.

The research project Eyewitness images and networked verification in the war in Ukraine: Empowering journalists for a new information environment was awarded a grant of €109,000. The project examines eyewitness images of the war in Ukraine captured by non-professional sources and is headed by postdoctoral researcher Aleksi Knuutila at the University of Jyväskylä.

The project Russian independent journalism in exile: in search of relevance and resilience was awarded a grant of €119,000. The project studies the emerging ecosystem of exiled media that had to flee Russia and what kind of journalism they produce. The project is being implemented as a joint project by the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki and Tampere University and is headed by postdoctoral researcher Olga Dovbysh and Senior Lecturer in Journalism Katja Lehtisaari.

Liquid Forms of AI-infused Disinformation: Improving Information Resilience in the Finnish News Ecosystem, a joint project by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, was awarded a grant of €180,000. Headed by Minttu Tikka, D.Soc.Sci, the project examines information influence and resilience in the context of Finnish news media.

The project Influential politicians and political influencers: the intertwining of the political, commercial, and personal on social media was awarded a grant of €150,000. Headed by Docent Essi Pöyry, the project brings new information to research on political communication and marketing.


The Foundation established its fellowship programme in 2008 to develop the professional skills and capabilities of journalists and to support their internationalization.

The fellowships are intended for journalists midway through their career. Applicants must have at least five years of experience of a journalist’s work. Applicants selected must represent a variety of different media. Also, freelance journalists may be selected. Efforts are made to select applicants from different parts of Finland.

During the academic year 2021–2022, the Foundation’s journalist fellows studied in Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin), Oxford (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), Los Angeles (USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism), Århus (Constructive Institute) and at the European University in St Petersburg.

In spring 2022, when Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine, the Foundation decided to suspend cooperation with the European University in St Petersburg until further notice.

Autumn saw the launch of applications for journalist fellowships for the 2023−2024 academic year and 32 applications (2021: 14) were received. The most popular place (seven primary applicants) applied for was the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

A total of 164 journalists have received the Foundation’s fellowship.

Competitions and awards

The Award for Development Journalism, established by the Foundation together with the Finnish Red Cross, the Finnish Foundation for Media and Development VIKES and the Union of Journalists in Finland, was awarded for the second time. The competition theme was climate change and there were 20 nominations for the award.

The €3,000 award was shared by Karoliina Knuuti and Mika Niskanen for their story ”A carbon-neutral country with carbon-hungry people – shall we outsource our emissions?”. The story was published in Maailman Kuvalehti (The World’s Pictorial Magazine).

The Tiedettä Suomeksi (Science in Finnish) award was made in June. The €25,000 award was shared by three recipients:

Maija Hirvonen & Tuija Kinnunen (edit.): Saavutettava viestintä. Yhteiskunnallista yhdenvertaisuutta edistämässä (Gaudeamus)
Award: €10,000

Lähikuva journal (Close-Up)
Award: €10,000

Henrik Rydenfelt PhD, Docent, Communications and Philosophy, University of Helsinki
Award: €5,000

The Foundation’s Tiedettä Suomeksi award seeks to support scientific publication in Finnish in the field of communication and to increase its value. The award is made every other year.

Autumn saw the Ilkka Malmberg Prize awarded for the first time. The Foundation established the prize in 2021 and it is intended to encourage good and well-informed writing.

The Foundation received 36 nominations for the €10,000 prize, which was awarded to Ilta-Sanomat journalist Tuomas Manninen.

At its meeting in December, the Board of Trustees decided to continue the Uutisraivaaja media innovation competition in 2023. €250,000 was earmarked for the competition, which will be held for the seventh time.


The Foundation organizes media-themed events at the Päivälehti Museum. These events aim to promote social discussion, the visibility of science and the networking of journalists and researchers. In addition, the Foundation makes the Museum’s premises available free of charge to media industry actors and non-profit organizations.

The award ceremony of the Tiedettä suomeksi competition took place in June and the Ilkka Malmberg Prize was awarded in September in conjunction with the Foundation’s anniversary.

March saw the completion of two book projects supported by the Foundation: Päätoimittaja – Ihmisiä sananvapauden etulinjassa (The editor-in-chief: On the front line of the freedom of speech) by Riitta Korhonen and Hannu Ollikainen, and Tulisydän – Maissi Erkon kiihkeä elämä (Heart of Fire – the passionate life of Maissi Erkko) by Reetta Hänninen PhD.

March also saw the Museum celebrate Lehdistönvapausilta (Press Freedom Evening) at which the keynote speaker was Veronika Munk, editor-in-chief of the Hungarian online news portal

In addition, four final seminars took place of projects supported by the Foundation.

The Päivälehti Archives and Päivälehti Museum together organized a meme-themed event in conjunction with the Night of Science on 20 January. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the entire event took place remotely.

On Night of the Arts on 18 August, the Päivälehti Museum provided a programme for children relating to the Tiitiäisen aika (The Tumpkin’s Time) exhibition.

During the year, the Päivälehti Museum and the Central Association of Finnish Pensioners held three Verkosta virtaa (Power from the net) media education events. These events aim at guiding people aged over 65 on how to use computers, computer networks and electronic services. Two of the events took place in the Päivälehti Museum and one in the Aboa Vetus Museum in Turku.


The Museum held four temporary exhibitions, two of which were the Museum’s own production. Ilta-Sanomat’s 90th anniversary exhibition, 23 February – 24 April, focused in particular on the newspaper’s recent history and the impacts of digitalization. Visitors to the hugely popular Tiitiäisen aika exhibition, 20 May – 30 October, were able to immerse themselves in the poetic world of Kirsi Kunnas. The Routanaisia-exhibition, 17 November 2022 – 19 February 2023 introduced visitors to the activities of the secret women’s resistance movement 1899–1906. Stadissa tehty, the summer exhibition in the Printing cellar, displayed the work of students at Stadin AO, Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute in the field of publication production and visual expression. The best student work received a prize at the Night of the Arts event in the Museum in August.


Major achievements during the year were the digitisation of Oki Räisänen’s extensive collection of 5,596 drawings and the arrangement of the archives of Sanomaprint’s and Ilta-Sanomat’s editorial offices.

During the year under review, 27 (46) donations of archive material, of which 4 (4) were digital material, were received. A considerable amount of analogue materials were arranged, 110 (63) shelf metres.

Six (5) historical interviews with former Sanoma employees were completed during the year under review.

Ten (9) donations were added to the object collections. The most important single donation was received from Ilta-Sanomat’s editorial offices in conjunction with their move.

The object collection now has around 6,100 objects, of which 4,504 (4,036) have been catalogued. The photograph collection contains around 25,000 photographs, of which 17,084 (16,800) had been digitized by the end of the year. Two works donated by Rafaela Seppälä and works donated by Ilta-Sanomat were added to the art collection. More storage space was obtained for the Foundation’s art collection by moving artworks and mementos owned by Sanoma to Sanoma’s archive.

The Päivälehti Archives has been represented in key collaboration networks and the Päivälehti Museum is responsible for the preservation of artefacts and traditions relating to technical newspaper publishing operations through its involvement in national TAKO collection management cooperation. The Museum has also actively been involved in the operations of the Trafiikki Museums Association cooperation network.

Objects from the collection were on loan to the A cup of coffee and the morning paper exhibition at the Postal Museum which ran from 10 May to 31 August 2022.


The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation’s expense deficit from ordinary operations was €4,268,495 (2021: €4,164,207), of which grants and journalist fellowships accounted for €2,042,602 (€2,069,727). During the year under review, €639,031 (€604,374) was paid in wages and salaries. The deficit during the accounting period was -€17,527,765 (2021: surplus of €19,769,432). The Foundation’s deferred liabilities amounted to €2,678,468 (€2,866,849), of which unpaid grants and fellowships accounted for €2,343,553 (€2,780,364).

The optimism which prevailed in the financial markets in early 2022 rapidly reversed with numerous negative surprises.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, accelerating inflation, hefty interest rate hikes by central banks and corona and real estate crisis in China seriously weakened economic development. Consumer buying power deteriorated rapidly and consumer confidence sank to an unprecedentedly low level.

The performance of all traditional asset classes on the financial markets was very poor and returns were 10-25% negative.

The inflation rate slowed towards the end of the year and the risk of a serious energy crisis in Europe declined due to unusually warm weather and the stock markets recovered some of their earlier losses.

The outlook at the start of 2023 is still rather uncertain and the recession risk in both the USA and Europe is elevated.

The Foundation’s related parties include the members and deputy members of the Board of Trustees, the members of the Finance Committee, the President, Vice President/Director of the Päivälehti Museum and the Päivälehti Archives as well as the auditors, including their family members and any organizations and foundations controlled by them. The attendance fees paid to members of the Board of Trustees, the Working Committee and Finance Committee during the year amounted to €16,800. Attendance fees are paid for each meeting to those members present only. It is the opinion of the Board of Trustees that the fees are in line with general practice taking into account the duties of the members of the Board and committees, and the time and expertise required. In addition, fees of €227,590 were paid to the Foundation’s President and Vice President, who are related parties. The auditors were paid based on invoice. The Foundation had no other related party transactions and nor did the Foundation receive any subsidies or grants during the year under review.

Income from investment and financial activities was €4,651,337 (2021: €6,167,151). Profit shares from investment funds were €1,445,808 (€2,173,738), proceeds from securities sold were €0 (€771,867) and dividend income was €3,121,601 (€3,038,971). The deficit from investment and financial activities was
-€13,259,270 (+€23,933,369). Changes in the value of investments were-€38,660,162 (€19,899,089).

The unrealized changes in the value of direct investments in equities were recognized in the fair value reserve, where cumulative changes in value at the end of the year totalled -€36,173,438 (-€15,407,315). The change in the value of Sanoma Corporation was -€17,865,966 compared to the previous year.

At the turn of the year, the market value of the Foundation’s assets was €135 million (€174 million). Equity investments accounted for 95% (95.8%) and fixed-income investments for 5% (4.2%) of the assets. Sanoma shares accounted for 34.1% (36.9%) of total assets.

There were no material changes in asset allocation during the year under review. The total return on the portfolio was -19.92% (17.4%). The return was -0.63 (0.0%) in the money market, -24.71% (2.7%) on Sanoma shares, -16.80% (27.6%) on other direct investments in equities and -18.84% (31.2%) on equity funds.

The return on the Foundation’s investment assets was historically poor both in absolute and relative terms. The Sanoma share price in particular fell sharply. The underperformance was to a large extent caused by the fact that the Foundation has for ESG reasons excluded a number of sectors such as tobacco, energy and arms and these showed a superior performance in 2022.

When evaluating the result, it should be borne in mind that the return in several earlier years has been stellar both in absolute and relative terms. High volatility is typical because of the high equity allocation. The Foundation maintains sufficient cash buffers and unrealized losses do not affect ordinary operations.

Talenom provided the Foundation’s accounting and cash management services.


The main objective of financial activities is to preserve and grow the real value of the assets over the long term. The Foundation’s investment activities aim also for a steady cash flow and adequate liquidity to ensure the continuity of ordinary operations. Given the long-term investment horizon, the investment strategy is equity weighted (equity weighting was 95% at year-end) and the investment portfolio is not normally hedged.

Short-term movements in prices are of no relevance to the Foundation since the Foundation strives for good long-term real returns and cash flow. In accordance with the investment strategy, the investments are diversified by geography, sector, company and currency. The investments are mainly in liquid securities and funds, which can quickly be converted into cash. This means the Foundation has a low funding and liquidity risk. The domestic and international economic climate reflects on the Foundation’s investments. The main risk in investment activities is the general market risk, in other words the long-term performance of the international markets and dividend income. In addition, Sanoma Corporation shares account for 34.1% (36.9%) of the Foundation’s assets and these constitute the largest single risk exposure. The Board of Trustees has adopted a separate plan with regard to the Sanoma risk. Assets have been managed and investments made in line with the policy adopted by the Board of Trustees and matters concerning investment activities have been discussed in the Foundation’s Finance Committee.


The Foundation invests its assets responsibly and when making investment decisions takes into consideration financial aspects as well as environmental, social responsibility and good governance (ESG) perspectives.

Through its grant policy, the Foundation seeks to support the fair and equitable remuneration of researchers. Most of the research grants awarded by the Foundation are paid to universities and grants also include social security costs.

The Foundation’s exhibition activities take into account the principles of sustainability by choosing ecological materials and by recommending recycling. Going forward, the Museum and Archives modernization will ensure better access to the premises and the availability of services. All the services provided by the Museum are free of charge to the public.

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