On Friday, the whole world celebrates Children’s Day. To honour it, Helsingin Sanomat will deliver HS Lasten uutiset newspapers to all Finnish primary schools, slightly over 2,000 of them.
The act is based on this idea: Information is every child’s right, and the task of HS Lasten uutiset is to promote freedom of speech, access to information and literacy.
“We want to promote children’s literacy skills and love of reading. We believe that interesting information told through the eyes of children makes for inspiring and motivating reading. We also know that children’s natural thirst for information knows no limits,” says Anu Ubaud, Editor-in-Chief of Helsingin Sanomat.
According to article 17 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the media plays an important role in the education of children. In addition, article 13 pertains to the freedom of speech and children’s right to freely express their opinions.
“It is vital for children’s freedom of speech that they have access to reliable information in a suitable format. Children also have the right to express their views and make their voices heard in matters relevant to them,” says Fanny Fröman, Producer, HS Lasten uutiset.
HS Lasten uutiset has been promoting children’s access to information since 2016. In October, Fanny Fröman received the state award for information publication for Lasten uutiset. In 2018, Unicef Finland honoured Lasten uutiset with the “Lapsen oikeuksien vaikuttaja” (“Children’s rights influencer”) award.
Last autumn, Lasten uutiset was launched in printed form; so far, it has sold nearly 20,000 subscriptions. The subscribers represent over 80% of Finnish municipalities.
In addition to the magazine published on Wednesdays, Lasten uutiset also has a Friday newscast that is completely free to watch for everyone. This enables all Finnish-speaking children to get access to important news.