According to the study, the tone of the publicity concerning the Finnish Hunters’ Association was primarily neutral (89%). One in ten stories or news articles was positive, with very little negative visibility (1%). The topics that were particularly positive for the Association’s public image were the advancement of the invasive alien predators project, the Association's youth work, events and training activities, its promotion of responsible hunting, and the Ministry's recognition of the good work done by the Association. The negative coverage focused on the Association’s lobbying activities, for example in the debate concerning the Finnish wolf population, and its role in large carnivore permits. The public image of the Finnish Hunters’ Association was analysed on the basis of 872 news articles published by Finnish editorial media.
The public image of hunting was considerably more polarising than that of the Association itself – however, even in this case, the positive coverage (17%) outnumbered the negative (8%). When it comes to the public image of hunting, the authorities represented its most-discussed actors, dominating more than a third of all relevant news items, with particular focus being placed on the Finnish Wildlife Agency, Metsähallitus, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the police.
The analysis focused on Finnish editorial media, i.e. online articles, print media, and key TV and radio programming. Its dataset included all media news items that referenced the Finnish Hunters’ Association or hunting, with an emphasis on key themes such as hunting accidents, population control-related hunting, the ban on lead, and wolves.
The most reporting on hunting was done by Finland’s national public broadcasting company Yle (279 stories in 2022) as well as by the newspapers Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (228), Lapin Kansa (226) and Helsingin Sanomat (221). The analysis also included hundreds of articles from other regional newspapers. The analysis of the public image of hunting was carried out by Retriever for the Finnish Hunters' Association.