I grew up in a small town in southern Finland, which had sugar beet fields, one small shop and one local newspaper.

When I was eleven-years-old, my school had to do a project about ourselves and we had to interview a representative of a profession of which we wanted to take up one day.

I interviewed the then-editor of the local newspaper.


Like the paper I now work for, it would depict the life and times of its community, featuring all of life’s rich tapestry.

The then-editor told me about the paper’s long history and its embedment in the little rural community, and I was deeply impressed.

Also because he said he had once done an interview at an ice cream factory and got to have as much ice cream as he wanted.

You could see this choice of an interviewee as foreshadowing for what I ended up doing in the future, but a thought about being a journalist came way earlier. 

I was five, and I was watching an episode of Babar the Elephant.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, it’s an animated series about a family of elephants and in one episode, the children of the elephant family start a newspaper.

After they face a lack of stories, they start sensationalising them, finally straight up fabricating them until one of them has a moral awakening.

“The readers have the right to know the truth.”

As naïve as it sounds, this statement stuck with me throughout my time in the university, while training and now that I have achieved my childhood dream of working for a newspaper. 

I didn’t end up reporting about sugar beets but I do get to slip under the skin of a community, reporting about all its joys and sorrows.

Despite my obvious bias, I do think local journalism provides a fair and accurate reporting of any event, whether local, national or international.

Because at the end of the day it’s as simple as a moral lesson at the end of a children’s programme: the readers have the right to know the truth.