Lesson from the World Happiness Report: What make Finland the happiest country in the world?

Helsinki-Finland
Finland's capital Helsinki. Source: An article from Huffpost,2019, by Tess Riley. Her original source is GETTY IMAGES.

Story topic and angles:
The World Happiness Report in 2019 has been released recently, Finland ranks the No.1 again after 2018. Paradoxically, another comparison made by the World Health Organization said that among Western countries, Finland ranks the second country which their per capita prevalence of unipolar depressive disorders is highest followed the United State, the suicide rate in Finland is also very high. So are Finns really that happy as the World Happiness Report say?

Actually, the world happiness report evaluates whether people happy or not mainly focus on life satisfaction, but the happiness for individuals in our generation is complicated, it mainly focuses on emotional aspects. This feature will explore from the objective life satisfaction and subjective emotional aspects to discuss what are the main factors to make people happy in our generation?
Genre and structure:
That will be a feature article because it will include many subjective perspectives when talking about ”happiness”, feature story gives me more freedom to write from more deeper perspectives.
1.Introduction of the World Happiness Report. Why they do that every year?
2.Why Finland ranks top one happiness country in the world happiness report?
Life satisfaction aspects (objective conditions): income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity
3.What is Finn’s perspective on this result? (subjective emotions): marital success, work-life balance, social equality, don’t like to compare with others, more face to face activity.Including interviews of people who have lived in Finland and try to find some local people.

4.How to evaluate happiness in a psychological level? What are the criteria for happy individuals? Including interviews with the psychologist. Suggestions for being happy.
Publication and target user group:
My intended publication is Buzzfeed and the target user group is people who care about their life and health, also target users who suffer from depression. Buzzfeed is a perfect platform to delivery hot news highly relevant to people who pay more attention to their daily life. This feature article is an international issue, the encourage system of Buzzfeed to let their audiences have more passion to share what they like to their social media, so this feature article will have more chances to distributed all over the world.
Sources of information:
Academic articles and online resources will be used to explore this feature article.The World happiness reprort2019;Why is Finland so happy? ;Happiness Across Cultures : Views of Happiness and Quality of Life in Non-Western Cultures;Positive psychology: the science of happiness and flouishing.

Professor-Carolin Hunt
screenshot of Professor Caroline Hunt from USYD

The psychologist who focus on mental health and understand happiness will be interviewed. Professor Caroline Hunt has worked in the field of anxiety and depressive disorders. Questions below will be asked from the email interview.

1.We all live in a high-pressure society. Lots of people suffer from depression, some people even suicide because of negative emotions. What do you think is the cause of the situation in our society?
2.What do you think is the best way for people living in our generation to feel happy again, please give us some suggestions in professional aspects.
3.On the one hand, lots of people suffer from depression always feel lonely, but on the hand, they are fear of intimate contact with others. Is it will be helpful to let them make more friends? Can a good social network make people feel happier?

Also, some people who have lived in Finland will be interviewed.

About Grace Zhang 5 Articles
I am doing my major of master of digital communication and culture in USYD.I come from Beijing,China.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Grace, I like your pitch and it’s really an attractive topic for me. But I think the genre is more like a news commentary rather than a feature story because you’ll talk about lots of your views and opinions in it. A feature story should include a description of an event and have some main characters. Besides, at the end of your pitch, you said you’ll interview some people who have lived in Finland, but how to find them? In addition, for the interview with Professor Hunt, I think you can also ask her perspectives about why Finland is on the top of the list, which is more relevant to your main topic. Anyway, it’s a good job and I’m looking forward to reading your final news!

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