In English

The Päivälehti–Helsingin Sanomat 1889–2019 research project studies the biggest and only nationwide newspaper in Finland – Helsingin Sanomat. The research is conducted at the University of Helsinki, in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies. The project is led by Professor of Finnish and  Nordic history Markku Kuisma.

The newspaper was founded in 1889 as Päivälehti by a group of young intellectuals and political activists. The aim of the daring and small “start-up” was to have a channel primarily in the Helsinki region for a rising liberal political movement Nuorsuomalaiset existing within the nationalistic Fennoman movement. Being too critical towards the influence of the Russian Empire in Finland, Päivälehti was abolished in 1904 by the Russian authorities. Four days later Helsingin Sanomat was founded to replace the abolished newspaper. During the next few decades, the paper that started off as a political channel and a struggling start-up grew into an independent national newspaper which nowadays has one of the highest circulation figures in the Nordic countries. In addition Sanoma, the company established to publish Helsingin Sanomat at the turn of the 20th century has transformed from a small and indebted family-business into a well-off multinational listed company operating in twenty countries.

Research

The aim of the research project is to produce academic research on the long history of Helsingin Sanomat. The research project focuses on journalism, business history, politics, cultural life and their interconnections. Project is divided into four sectors:

  • Party, family and principles: The editors in Helsingin Sanomat by Antti Blåfield

The research is funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. For more information, please contact the research assistant Ahto Apajalahti (email: firstname.surname@helsinki.fi) or use the contact form.

Publications

Antti Blåfield’s Loistavat erkot (Otava, 2014) tells the story of Helsingin Sanomat and its predecessor Päivälehti from 1889 to 2001 through its owners, three generations of the Erkko family, and their 18 chief editors.

Conference papers

17.3.2014 Free press, regulated competition: Cartels and collaboration in the 20th century Finnish newspaper business.
Niklas Jensen-Eriksen & Elina Kuorelahti
First World Business History Conference (Frankfurt am Main, Saksa)

23.8.2014 Self-regulating Media: Cartelization of Nordic Newspapers in the Interwar Period
Niklas Jensen-Eriksen & Elina Kuorelahti
18th Annual Congress of the European Business History Association (Utrecht, Alankomaat)