Since 2014, and more actively since 2018, I am engaged in the Finnish section of Reporters sans frontières (RSF), a civil society organisation that promotes media freedom and campaigns for access to information. The national section benefits from the support of the international umbrella organisation and its professional secretariat in Paris. RSF has a global reach through a network of offices, sections and correspondents in some 180 countries. The relatively small Finnish section seeks domestic and international leverage together with its sister organisation in Sweden, focusses on media situation in Russia and Eastern Europe – including my specific interest in Ukraine – and calls for attention to the media and information policies in and by China.
In 2018 I also joined the advocacy work of Pro Lapinlahti – Association for the advancement of mental health, which boasts 30+ years of history of activism for the preservation of the heritage of the former Lapinlahti historical mental hospital and its surroundings. Around the turn of the century the activism temporarily transformed into a people’s movement. This public engagement was rekindled in the last three years when the association together with other actors based in the former hospital spearheaded the movement for a use of the buildings worthy of their heritage, conservation of the park, and for the continued development of the present civic space for culture and well-being rather than submitting them to commercial exploitation.
These two activities have in common a concern about ensuring access to trusted information by the general public as well as a greater transparency and accountability of authorities.