I have never seen a stranger relationship to broadcast media before.
Every country has it’s own distinct broadcast style. The USA is famous for it’s many advert breaks, excessively loud presenters and terrible news programming. The UK is seen as more stuffy, very “establishment” and really quite boring in it’s presentation.
All of this is nothing in comparison to the things I have seen on television in Finland.
Terrified, rabbit-in-the-headlight newsreaders tell you the daily news in a style which, other than that, looks exactly like every other news programme in the world. It’s actually almost scary how news report “visual language” is the same the world ever. The lacklustre establishing shots, the walking and talking to the camera, in fact, Charlie Brooker covered this all fantastically years ago.
But Finnish TV? That’s an entirely different beast. Their TV idents (the bits that go before the programme), are the most relaxing I’ve ever seen. If you like BBC Four, you will love every channel Finland broadcasts.
Just before an advert break on mtv3 (Finland’s ITV), you get some joyful Finns running into a lake, after the ad break you’ll get a shot of just the lake, empty.
Turn over to YLE1 and you’ll wonder where Duncan Newmarch is
annoying telling you what the next programme is, instead, it’s just a menu with elevator music showing what’s coming next.
There’s actually a definite peace to this, which is reflected in the Finnish population. They are by far the most peaceful people I have ever had the pleasure to come into contact with.
All of this is in stark contrast to their rather shockingly forceful adverts, which yell low prices and have bold colours. By contrast, mtv3 putting up a video of a lake for a few seconds after the adverts reminds you that you’re in Finland, it’s all going to be okay.