Finnbay wanted to recruit me

Last week I was teaching a class in what I call ‘digital fact-checking’ at Yle (the Finnish public broadcaster). We were talking about how to check who owns a certain domain name, when one of the participants, a fine journalist called Jessikka Aro, said she wanted to find out the owner of Finnbay, an obscure website that has been quoted abroad as the source of some dubious ‘news’ about Finland’s relationship with Russia. Jessikka then went on to write this piece about Finnbay. Indeed, foreign media should not trust this site as a source about Finnish politics.

Today I stumbled on this Reddit thread about Finnbay, which led me to this blog post – which then reminded me about an email I received some time last year. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, as it’s not unusual to be asked to write for free these days. I just told this person that I’ve been paid to write since 2001 and don’t see a reason to start writing for free now (this blog being the exception, of course).

But as I don’t tend to delete emails, here’s Onur Yalcintas of Finnbay reaching out to me in April 2013.

Dear Johanna,

I hope you are well and happy.

I am from Finnbay – Finland’s English Language webzine and city-country guide. We are currently the top company in our field hitting over 135,000 hits per month.

We are interested in collaborating with you on having you to have a column at our website to tell the world about Finland in English. This would be great exposure to reach to international community.

This would be a voluntary position to start with as we all are at Finnbay.

Please let me know if this would be of your interest.


Kind regards,
Onur Yalcintas
The Gateway of Expats in Finland


About Johanna Vehkoo

Journo, speaker, fact-checker. Formerly Visiting Scholar at Wilson Center, Washington DC, and Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University. Wrote a book about the future of quality journalism. Founder of award-winning startup Long Play. Blogs in both Finnish and English.
This entry was posted in Blimey, Journalism, Journalismin tulevaisuus, Suomi Finland Perkele. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Finnbay wanted to recruit me

  1. arjenpolku says:

    I did also get a similar mail – and I wrote for them until Sept, 3. 2013. I thought at the time that it would be a way to attract attention to my own blog. But this it didn’t – until now! Now everybody is checking out my disclaimer. It is very annoying. I am so very glad I quit (on the advice of two people who know more about the shady business of this Finnbay stuff.). Fortunately I only wrote about boring stuff like co-decision procedures in firms..

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