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Anna-Liisa Haavikko

Born February 23, 1960, Toivakka

Master of Arts (Folkloristics), University of Helsinki

Freelance journalist
Began as a journalist at a local newspaper. Currently hosts radio and television programmes and writes. Regularly hosts the radio current affairs programme Julkinen sana, broadcast on Yle (the Finnish Broadcasting Company) Radio 1, and produces pieces on science and culture.

Positions of responsibility:
Board of Kopiosto (Copyright Society) 2015–
Chairman of the copyright committee of the Union of Journalists 2015–
Board of the Union of Journalists 2011–2014
Committee for Public Information in Finland 2009–
Board of the Union of Finnish Radio and TV Journalists
Board of the Freelance Branch of the Union of Finnish Radio and TV Journalists 2002–07

Naisten marssi (‘The march of women’) 1994
Ja sodan vuosiin sattui nuoruus (‘Youth in the war years’) 1994
Nuoruuden kolmas näytös (‘The third act of youth’) 1995
Lyhyet vuodet (‘Short Years’) 1996
Täysiä vuosia – Vuoden 1949 muotokuva (‘Full years – a portrait of 1949’) 1999
Täysiä vuosia – Vuoden 1950 muotokuva (‘Full years – a portrait of 1950’) 1999
Mummokirja (‘The book of grannies’) 2004
Tältä kohtaa (‘Here we go’)

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Anna-Liisa Haavikko (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My toolbox works

“Folkloristics, cultural anthropology, and religious studies,” sighed the managing editor and wondered what possible use I thought I might get out of them in real life. I did my best to smile at the insult. I did get the reporter’s job though: my work experience counted, rather than my studies.

My choice of subjects, which so bemused the managing editor, has proved quite useful in my work as a journalist. Folkloristics taught me to use archives. When you know how to dive into archives, you will find more from the past than mere nostalgia trips. Anthropologists who had done fieldwork in foreign cultures gave me the best advice on interviewing people. When I was sitting on the hard benches of lecture halls back in the 1980s, we had no idea of the religious wars of today. But some inkling of what the future might hold could be had by listening to scholars of religious studies or cultural anthropologists specialised in Islam. Knowledge of cultures and religions would have already been beneficial in many newsrooms back then.

Photo: Mika Federley


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