"An equitable freedom of writing and printing is one of the firmest pillars on which a free government may rest; for otherwise ... within a few years a horrific darkness will settle over the entire firmament of our liberty."

Right to know -
right to say

The theme of the 250th anniversary suggests that we as citizens have the right to know about public exercise of power – and the right to express our opinion in public debate. These principles were addressed as early as in the 1766 Freedom of the Press Act, which was the accomplishment of Anders Chydenius during his first term as a member of parliament. The principle of publicity and the freedom of writing and the press have provided a foundation for the development of Nordic democracy. Discussing the present meaning of these rights is important. New media have highlighted new questions related to such topics as open data, cyber freedom and security. Everyone is welcome to participate in the discussion on our right to know and say.

Gustav Björkstrand & Kaius Niemi
Chairpersons of the 250 Committee
Press Freedom 250 years


Anders Chydenius on the Freedom of Information

Read the original documents! Here you can find three documents written by Chydenius in 1765-66, concerning the freedom of the press and freedom of information. Each document is followed by a commentary written by Professor Lars Magnusson.

1 May 2016

Exhibition on the 250th Anniversary of the Freedom of the Press Act

On the occasion of the first celebration of the International Day for the Universal Access to Information, the Permanent Delegations of Sweden and Finland jointly organize at UNESCO Headquarters an exhibition to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Freedom of the Press Act passed in 1766.

26 September 2016

The great Finnish envoy for freedom of speech gets his own comic

No well-known publication has been made about the central ideas of Anders Chydenius (1729-1803), a politician from the Finnish town of Kokkola. The comic “Last Words – The Return of Anders Chydenius” addresses this lack and brings forth Chydenius’ role as a leading advocate for freedom of speech and personal freedom in the 18th century.

29 April 2016

The Chydenius Medal was awarded to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

The Chydenius Medal was granted to the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to mark the outstanding performance on international level in promotion of the principles of openness, cherished by Anders Chydenius, the initiator of the world’s first Freedom of Information Act (1766).

4 December 2015

Avoimuuskolumni: Anders Chydenius - vapauden apostoli

250-juhlavuoden verkkosivulla julkaistaan kuukausittain 'Avoimuuskolumni', jossa käsitellään painovapauden taustaa tai tulevaisuutta, Suomessa tai maailmalla. Sarjan aloittaa Pertti Hyttisen ja Juha Mustosen kolumni 'vapauden apostolista' eli Anders Chydeniuksesta.

4 December 2015

Suurlähettiläs: Oikeus hankkia tietoa kuuluu ihmisoikeuksiin

Pohjoismaiden ministerineuvostossa pohjoismaisen julkisuusperiaatteen edistäminen on osa ohjelmaa Suomen puheenjohtajuuskaudella vuonna 2016. Kysyimme ulkoasiainministeriön ihmisoikeus- ja demokratiasuurlähettiläältä, mitä Suomi tekee käytännössä.

2 December 2015

Event calendar

4 December 2015

Tietämisen vapauden päivän seminaari

Helsingin Sanomain Säätiön ja Anders Chydenius -säätiön järjestämään Tietämisen vapauden päivän seminaariin perjantaina 4.12.2015 klo 14 Päivälehden museoon (Ludviginkatu 2–4).

2 February 2016

Maailman lehdistönvapauden päivän konferenssi

Helsingissä järjestetään 2.-4.5.2016 Maailman lehdistönvapauden päivän konferenssi.

11 November 2016
15 April 2016

Nuorten parlamamentti

Paikka: S-talo, Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9, Helsinki
Järjestäjä: Eduskunta

2 May 2016

Seminaari: Tutkijat ja sananvapaus

Paikka: Päivälehden museo, Ludviginkatu 2-4, Helsinki
Järjestäjät: Tiedonjulkistamisen neuvottelukunta TJNK, Tiedeakatemiain neuvottelukunta TANK, Helsingin Sanomain Säätiö

2 May 2016

Seminaari: Freedom of Press and Democratic Societies: Nordic Experiences

Paikka: Helsingin yliopisto
Järjestäjät: Demokratian voimavirrat-hanke ja Yhteiskunnan historia huippuyksikkö

3 May 2016

Unescon lehdistönvapauden päivän konferenssi

Paikka: Finlandia-talo, Mannerheimintie 13 E, Helsinki
Järjestäjät: Unesco ja Suomen valtio

22 September 2016

Eduskunnan perustuslakivaliokunnan seminaari juhlavuoteen liittyen

Järjestäjä: Eduskunta
Lisätietoa: marjo.timonen(at)eduskunta.fi

14 October 2016

The right to know - transparency and openness in public life

Venue: University of Helsinki, Fabianinkatu 33, lecture hall 1
Organizers: The discipline of Media and Communication Studies together with the Open University, University of Helsinki.
More information: salli.hakala@helsinki.fi

1 December 2016

Right to know day seminar

Paikka: Päivälehden museo, Ludviginkatu 2-4, Helsinki
Järjestäjät: Anders Chydenius foundation, Helsingin Sanomat Foundation
Lisätietoa: juha.mustonen@chydenius.fi ja ulla.koski@hssaatio.fi

Patron & organisers

Greeting from the President of the Republic of Finland

President Sauli Niinistö is the Patron of the 250th Anniversary of the Nordic Principle of Publicity. In his welcoming statement he invites Finns to discuss the legacy of Anders Chydenius – as well as what openness and the freedom of speech and of the press mean to us.

Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation is a public non-profit organisation that promotes the future success of Finnish media, particularly newspapers. For this purpose, the Foundation awards grants for communications research and education as well as maintains the Päivälehti Archives and the Päivälehti Museum.

Anders Chydenius Foundation

The purpose of the Anders Chydenius Foundation is to promote discussion on the liberalisation of the economy and its consequences in the light of the ideas and tradition of Anders Chydenius, to support academic research on the topic and to influence decisions in the field by emphasising ethical values.