US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Helsinki, Finland for a Summit, and this is how they were welcomed.
As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Helsinki, we @hsfi want to remind them of the importance of free press. 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit are filled with news headlines regarding presidents’ attitude towards the pressfreedom. #HELSINKI2018 pic.twitter.com/KmYJtLyeNE— Kaius Niemi (@KaiusNiemi) July 15, 2018
Welcome to the Land of Free Press
Kaius Niemi, Editor-in-Chief of Helsingin Sanomat, the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries, shared a photo of one of the many billboards that were put up in Finland’s southern capital that said “Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press.”
Niemi said in his tweet that the 300 billboards lining the route from the airport to the Summit venue were put up “to remind them of the importance of free press.”
The billboards featured headlines in both English and Russian from the year 2000 to 2018, depicting the leaders’ attitude towards the freedom of the press.
Niemi said the billboards were intended to show support for journalists in the US and Russia facing “ever toughening circumstances,” reported The Hill.
"“The media shouldn’t be the lap dog of any president or regime.”" - Kaius Niemi, Editor-in-Chief of Helsingin Sanomat (as quoted in The Hill)Tweeple Laud the Move
Pictures of the billboards have been all over social media since the Summit and are being shared widely.
Awesome work @hsfi the largest newspaper in the Nordics displaying hundreds of billboards reminding presidents Trump and Putin about the freedom of the press #Helsinki2018 ‘welcome to the land of free press’ pic.twitter.com/TmhnNQIo0K— Angela Priestley (@angelapriestley) July 15, 2018
Not just Helsingin Sanomat, organisations like Amnesty International also presented their take on the leaders’ policies through billboards.
The Human Rights Campaign put up banners on Finland’s Presidential Palace, criticising Putin’s treatment of Chechnya’s LGBTQ population.
3/Ahead of the Trump-Putin Summit, @HRC joined @bellvisuals to project a message onto the side of the Presidential Palace in Helsinki demanding that both leaders end the ongoing anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity occurring in the Russian republic of Chechnya. #EyesOnChechnya pic.twitter.com/dldw5fRb3l— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) July 16, 2018
Tweeple also tweeted out numerous other banners put up by different organisations in Finland.
Before the Summit, Trump had tweeted that “much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people” and had complained that no matter how well the Summit goes, he will face negative press coverage.
Heading to Helsinki, Finland – looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow. Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
...over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition! Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
...know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country – but at some point, it will heal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
The billboards in Finland were just one of the ways in which the two Presidents received criticism. There were also a number of public protests in Finland.
. Read more on Social Buzz by The Quint.Twitter Lauds Billboards in Helsinki That Welcomed Trump and Putin‘Soorma’ Could’ve Been Shaad Ali’s Shot at Redemption – But Wasn’t . Read more on Social Buzz by The Quint.