Helsingin Sanomat

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Helsingin Sanomat
Helsingin Sanomat wordmark.svg
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid[1]
Owner(s) Sanoma
Editor Riikka Venäläinen
Founded 1889 as Päivälehti
1905 as Helsingin Sanomat
Language Finnish
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Official website www.hs.fi

Helsingin Sanomat, abbreviated HS and colloquially known as Hesari, is the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries, owned by Sanoma. Except after certain holidays, it is published daily. In 2008, its daily circulation was 412,421 on weekdays[2] (a change of −1.8% from 2007) and 468,505 on Sundays (−1.3%). Its name derives from that of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, where it is published.

The Helsingin Sanomat website HS.fi is one of the most important sources of news in Finnish on the web. In June 2009 the site was the sixth most popular Finnish website.[3]


The paper was founded in 1889 as Päivälehti, when Finland was a Grand Duchy under the Tsar of Russia.[4]

Political censorship by the Russian authorities, prompted by the paper's strong advocacy of greater Finnish freedoms and even outright independence, forced Päivälehti to often temporarily suspend publication, and finally to close permanently in 1904.[5] Its proprietors re-opened the paper under its current name in 1905.[6]

Originally founded as the organ of the Young Finnish Party, the paper has been politically independent and non-aligned since the 1930s.

Helsingin Sanomat has a long history as a family business, owned by the Erkko family.[7]

It is currently owned by the Sanoma media group.

The relationship between the owners of Helsingin Sanomat and Finland's government have sometimes been close. For instance, during the run-up to the Winter War, Eljas Erkko was at the same time the paper's publisher and Finland's foreign minister.


The paper is published daily in Finnish in tabloid format with the exception of the days after public holidays when the paper does not appear. The only exception to this is the day after Finnish independence day (7 December) when the revenue from Christmas advertising ensures an edition after that public holiday. Subscriptions make up 97% of the newspaper's circulation[2] and the lack of a need to attract casual readers on newsstands had led to the front page usually being totally devoted to advertisements. (However, a few events have been important enough to be reported on the front page, without any advertisements.)

The paper also has a monthly supplement named Kuukausiliite (Finnish for "Monthly Supplement"), and a weekly TV guide and entertainment-oriented supplement named Nyt ("Now"). Between 1999 and 2012 there were also both Finnish and English-language online newspaper editions.[8]

The newspaper was published in broadsheet format until 6 January, 2013.[1]

Helsingin Sanomat is published daily for the iPad. iPad version of Helsingin Sanomat resembles the newspaper's traditional version but is optimized for the tablet device. Content of Helsingin Sanomat can be accessed through other mobile devices as well.

Circulation and influence[edit]

In the period of 1995-96 Helsingin Sanomat had a circulation of 470,600 copies.[9] The paper has a penetration of approximately 75% of the households of the Greater Helsinki region, and also functions as the local paper of the region (together with Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet). Its total daily circulation is well over 400,000, or about 8% of Finland's total population, making it the biggest daily subscription newspaper in the Nordic countries.

The paper is a significant factor in Finnish society. Pertti Klemola, a Finnish journalist and scholar, once called it a state authority, an institution with its own independent social and political will.[10]

Helsingin Sanomat strongly advocated Finland joining the European Union in the run-up to the decision to do so in 1994. It has also openly expressed support for Finland's membership of NATO.[citation needed]

Helsingin Sanomat International Edition[edit]

The English language section of the Helsingin Sanomat website, the Helsingin Sanomat International Edition (HSIE) ran for thirteen years.[11]

The International Edition launched on 14 September 1999 with the aim of informing readers of news from Finland during the Finnish presidency of the European Union.[12] It continued after the European presidency owing to the quantity of readers it was getting became one of the major English-language sources of news regarding Finland—making it popular with English-speaking immigrants to the country.

The Helsingin Sanomat International Edition closed down on 26 October 2012.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ensimmäinen HS-tabloidi on tässä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 7 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Finnish Audit Bureau of Circulations Statistics
  3. ^ "TNS Gallup Metrix weekly site rankings". TNS Gallup. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Sanoma News: History
  5. ^ Sanoma News: History
  6. ^ Sanoma News: History
  7. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: Who? Aatos Erkko
  8. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: About
  9. ^ Media Policy: Convergence, Concentration & Commerce. SAGE Publications. 24 September 1998. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4462-6524-6. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Pertti Klemola (1981). Helsingin Sanomat, sananvapauden monopoli. Otava. p. 13. ISBN 951-1-06118-6. 
  11. ^ "Helsingin Sanomat closes down International Edition". Yle Uutiset (in English). 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Moore, William (23 October 2012). "Things Have Changed (The End is Nigh)". Helsingin Sanomat International Edition (in English). Retrieved 31 October 2012. "On September 14th, 1999… The Helsingin Sanomat International Edition was launched on this day on an unsuspecting world, initially for the duration of that first Finnish EU Presidency spell." 
  13. ^ "The International Edition Closed Down on October 26th". Helsinki Sanomat International Edition (in English). 28 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 

External links[edit]