Kimmo Pietinen (STT CEO): Our newswire is the base upon which the rest of the news media builds their own service
STT's CEO sees news agencies' relevance as being high during crisis times, as the top provider of fact-checked news. Words like "trust" or "fact-based" appear throughout all the EANA Top Voices interviews, and it says a lot about the news agency business.
On STT’s website it says that “All Finns are customers of the Finnish News Agency”. This might appear as a bold statement, but what does in fact say about the importance of a national news agency?
It may seem bold but is merely a fact. All dailies, the public broadcasting company as well as commercial tv-news are our clients. It speaks for itself: our newswire is the base upon which the rest of the news media builds their own service.
How do you see the relevance of news agencies during crisis times?
High. The pandemic has made it clear that the need for a constantly updated fact-based news service of the kind that news agencies do best is greater than ever.
Did STT face any challenges during the Covid-19 crisis?
Surprisingly few and no major ones. Moving to remote work mode went astonishingly smoothly and so far in the big picture everything has been working fine.
If you knew about this crisis one year ago, what would you do differently, as the CEO?
If I had seen this coming (highly speculative question) I would have invested in mobility, meaning laptops and related devices and software that supports remote working.
What about the future of the media in the post-corona years? Do you have any fears or are there reasons for optimism?
Both. The past few months have shown that the public’s demand for trusted news has contrary to some predictions increased. On the other hand fact-oriented news media will have hard times serving the demand due to loss of advertising income.
Interview by Alexandru Giboi (EANA Secretary General) for the "EANA Top Voices" project.