Towards Engaging Journalism

Research project taps into question: What is “engaging” journalism made of? The three-year project (2009-2011) aims to analyze journalism and its relevance for the audience from the perspective of social networks. The study attempts to shed light on people’s social networks: How and where people discuss public affairs and what is the role of journalism and newspapers in and for these discussions? The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

At the core of the project is a 1.5 years long audience research. The empirical study focuses on nine existing social networks from four different regions in Finland. The project also utilizes textual analysis in order to find out ways in which the relevance of journalism can be studied via news texts. How are engagement and relevance produced in the texts? This analysis is also needed in order to produce workable concepts with which journalism’s relevance is discussed. Moreover, the project aims to develop analysis tools with which questions of engagement and relevance could be studied in surveys.

The study is coordinated by the Journalism Research and Development Centre (JTY) at the University of Tampere. Other participants in the project are the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki and the Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä.

The project co-operates with five newspapers that joined the project in order to get informed about the audience research. These newspapers are Aamulehti (Tampere), Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki), Kaleva (Oulu), Keskisuomalainen (Jyväskylä) and Tyrvään Sanomat (Sastamala).

Heikki Heikkilä, heikki.heikkila(at), +358 3 3551 8058
Laura Ahva, laura.ahva(at), +358 3 3551 7842
Jaana Siljamäki, jaana.siljamaki(at), +358 014 260 1524
Hanna Autio, hanna.autio(at), +358 14 260 1524
Sanna Valtonen, sanna.valtonen(at), +358 9 191 24656

Contact person at CRC:
Sanna Valtonen
sanna.valtonen at
+358 9 191 24656

More information on the project website