Research

The researchers connected with the research network Journalism and Communication and to the Editorial Lab conduct research in different areas of journalism, communication and media studies. Here some of the projects are presented. Please contact us for more information. 

Hyperlocal publishing - new forms of local media

Principal Investigator: Jaana Hujanen

The project has examined the emergence of hyperlocal media in Finland as a part of a larger transformation of Finnish news media and journalism. The development of hyperlocal media has been examined quantitatively and qualitatively. In the empirical analysis, the focus was set on initiatives, which have emerged during the 2000s. However, the existence of older and established forms of local media were also taken into account. The project was funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Helsingin Sanomain Säätiö) in 2017-2018.

We have found that the hyperlocal field in Finland is inherently diverse and emerging at a leisurely pace. We found approximately 30 hyperlocal publications active in 2017. In line with previous studies, Finnish hyperlocal media originate online, pertain to geographically defined communities and aim to fill perceived gaps in local news and information sharing, as well as discussion. The study also shows that “hyperlocal publishing” is a wide notion; the content published can vary from news to genres that are not traditionally seen as journalism, such as baking recipes, personal blog postings and native advertising. Accordingly, it is not easy to classify the publications into some clearly defined groups. Not only their contents but also their goals, makers, practices and business modelsvary a lot. An association or a society publishes most new hyperlocal publications. Often, a municipality or city council is involved, and there are some EU-funded projects. A minority of hyperlocal initiatives is published by a company or private persons. An amateur or voluntary background characterizes many of the Finnish cases. Most of the production teams consist of the amateurs or "enthusiasts", while there are only a few semi-professional operations. Hyperlocal initiatives typically aim at contributing to developing local grassroots reporting since they see that the local media scene is weak or the level of reporting low. The financial sustainability is a challenge. The majority of hyperlocal media included in the study lacked business goals and had problems with profitability.

Anti-racism under pressure: Social movements, NGOs and their mediated claims-making in Finland (ARAFI) 

Researcher: Camilla Haavisto

Camilla Haavisto’s postdoctoral research project has focused on the claims-making of civil society actors in and through the media, particularly when questions of racism and anti-racism are concerned. For her project, Haavisto has studied the communication of established NGOs, and she has also examined seemingly spontaneous campaigns on Facebook and other social media that strived to increase the attention for anti-racism and pro-humanitarianism. Her interest has also been directed towards the claims-making of the Right to Live-collective consisting of protesting asylum seekers and Finnish allies. The collective organized a five-month-long sit-in demonstration for migrants’ rights in 2017. Through ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative analyses of media material and analyses of big data, the project has produced new knowledge on how exclusionary practices and structures in the Finnish media landscape are constructed, copied and circulated, but also challenged. The outcomes of the project have also contributed to more theoretically driven discussions on agency and organizing in relation to communication and multiculture. This work comes together in articles and book-chapters that Haavisto has produced individually and together with other scholars. The project was funded by the Academy of Finland 2013–2016 with a prolongation until 2018.

Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP)

National coordinator: Jonita Siivonen 

The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) is a global research network, which has monitored news media in a gender perspective every fifth year since 1995. Finland has been a part of GMMP from the very beginning as one of the 71 countries that have participated in the monitoring. Finland also takes part in 2020 when the monitoring takes place for the sixth time, this time in over one hundred countries. GMMP Finland is a cooperation between the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which is funding the monitoring. GMMP Finland works closely with the other Nordic countries’ GMMP groups. Jonita Siivonen is national coordinator for GMMP in Finland and a member of the GMMP advisory group.

The share of women as news subjects has slowly increased from 17 percent in 1995 to 24 percent in the two latest monitorings. in 2015, the share of women in Finnish news media content was somewhat higher than the global percentage – 27 per cent – but lower than the percentage of women news subjects in the Finnish material five years earlier. The website Who makes the news contains global and national reports on the monitorings. 

The appgeneration’s communicative patterns and linguistic practices in social media

Researcher: Jenny Stenberg-Sirén

In her postdoctoral research Jenny Stenberg-Sirén analyzes the linguistic norms and practices of the appgeneration. The project is a comparative study of young people’s (15-19 years old) multimodal communicative patterns in social media (Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp). The study is based on two types of data: social media posts and interviews. In the project Stenberg-Sirén analyzes which linguistic norms are communicated on the different platforms, in relation to the degree of publicness of the posts as well as to the social media platform per se. In addition, she analyzes the linguistic attitudes and the linguistic awareness of the respondents, by examining how aware they are of their communicative choices and how they explain them. During this project Jenny Stenberg-Sirén is working at the Swedish literature society in Finland.