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Was newspaper editor dropped due to sexuality?


News

October 4, 2008/13.23


Finland’s news outlets have been reporting heavily on the cancellation of Johanna Korhonen’s appointment to editor-in-chief by newspaper Lapin Kansa, allegedly because of her registered civil union with a woman.
   Lapin Kansa’s parent company, Alma Media, has denied that the cancellation has anything to do with Korhonen’s private life and has said it was down to a ‘lack of trust,’ according to leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
   Alma CEO Kai Telanne has also said on Finnish TV network MTV3 that Korhonen failed to disclose that her partner is standing in a municipal election, meaning that Korhonen could not be politically neutral in her job.
   Translated in the English edition of Helsingin Sanomat, Telanne said in his TV interview, ‘Korhonen was asked about this, and she told us that neither she nor her spouse were involved in politics.’
   Alma alleged in a further press release that Korhonen had ‘repeatedly told lies during the recruitment process.’
   Korhonen issued a press release last Wednesday saying that she had been called into a meeting with Telanne, at which she was told that her relationship was an ‘impediment’ to her appointment, as was her concealment of her sexuality.
   She said she was pressured to withdraw from the post voluntarily.
   She also alleged that Alma offered her €100,000 to remain silent on the matter.
   As the matter continued in the Finnish media, it emerged that another Alma newspaper’s editor’s wife is politically active, but Telanne denies he was ever aware of her activity.
   Lapin Kansa staff are reportedly behind Korhonen.


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