• Finland, a place of inspiration.


    Finland, a place of inspiration.


    Finland has been an important place for me ever since I was a child watching Ihmemies (better know as MacGyver to the rest of the world) on black-and-white TV in Tallinn. Estonia’s capital was part of the Soviet Union at the time and Finnish television was a window to the free world. Watching Finnish television wasn’t strictly speaking legal, but that never stopped people from putting up antennas to get a glimpse of the West. 


    By the time I started my career in journalism in 2003, Estonia had once again become a free country and Finnish television had lost its appeal as MacGyver was now legally aired on an Estonian channel. However, Finland’s influence on other aspects of Estonian life had rather gone up — seeing Finns on the streets of Tallinn had become commonplace, Finnish companies and entrepreneurs were investing into Estonia and creating jobs, more and more Estonians made their way across the narrow Gulf of Finland to find better job opportunities in the north.


    It quickly became clear that Finland is a place full of interesting stories waiting to be told. I have since learnt the language and written so many different articles about Finland I have lost count. The topics I have covered have been of a very wide variety. Most recently I interviewed Prime Minister Juha Sipilä for Estonia’s biggest daily newspaper Postimees where I started working as head of economic news desk this spring. For the Wall Street Journal I have covered what Erkki Liikanen, governor of Finnish Central Bank, has said about European Central Bank’s policies and the future of Eurozone. For those who find politics and finance boring — I’ve also written about Tom of Finland, Marimekko and Iittala, to name just a few of the Finnish-related topics I’ve dealt with.


    So you see, over the years Finland has been — and still is — a great source of inspiration that has helped me grow as a journalist. I am always very happy to visit Helsinki, be it for work or pleasure. There is always so much new to discover about Finland and I expect FCP Alumni meeting to surprise me. One never knows what more Finland has to offer… (By Liis Kängsepp).


    Liis Kängsepp:


    Liis has worked as a journalist for more than ten years, recently she started a new job as head of economic news desk at Estonia’s biggest newspaper Postimees. For the past four years she’s been a stringer for the Wall Street Journal, covering Estonia and sometimes Finland. She participated in the FCP in 2005 and has written many stories about Finland on a wide variety of topics from finance and economy to design and culture. She’s been volunteering at Arvamusfestival (Festival of Opinion Culture, similar event to Finland’s Suomi-Areena and Swedish Almedalen Week) for three years, previously as chief of communications, now focusing on international relations. “The month I spent in Finland all those years ago was an important milestone in my continuous love affair with Estonia’s northern neighbor. It widened my horizon, assured me that my decision to learn Finnish was 120 % right and brought wonderful friends, contacts and new story ideas. I hope the alumni meeting will be no different.”



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