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JUHANI ARTTO
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Trade Union News from Finland
Journalists appreciate open, reliable and reachable labour market leaders

Helsinki (20.01.2012 - Juhani Artto) What kind of experiences have journalists had, in the course of their work, when dealing with unions and their leaders? And what kind of qualities do journalists appreciate when working with union representatives?

A recent survey throws some light on these matters. The replies from 178 journalists, working at various levels and in various sectors of media organizations, leave no doubt as to what journalists appreciate when it comes to the unions' engagement with the media. The most important qualities are -in this order- promptness, openness, reliability, availability, willingness to engage, and being up-to-date with the issues at hand.

Personal contacts, regional issues and background information on web sites are also appreciated but they are clearly less important than the above mentioned six qualities.

The survey indicates that the role of an organization's number one leader is very important. Being available, open and active and having the ability to state ones case reasonably and understandably makes a good union leader from the point of view of journalists. Journalists tend to identify trade unions with their Presidents.

Mikko Mäenpää, the President of the union confederation STTK was mentioned notably more often than any other person -in 24 replies- when asked, who is the best labour market leader. Also SAK's President Lauri Lyly (9), Pro's President Antti Rinne (8) and Metalworkers' Union's President Riku Aalto (5) received several "votes".

When asked to mention labour market organizations that have failed in their media communication, up to 49 of the 178 journalists mentioned a middle-sized union that is regarded as very introvert.

The survey was made by T-Media Oy. The replies were given in November-December 2011.