HYBRA: Title: Racisms and public communications in the hybrid media environment

The project explores how racism is constituted, defined, circulated and challenged in today’s transnational media circuits and practices. The goal of the project is to understand the new forms of public engagements and affective experiences concerning racism in the hybrid media environment shaped by cooperation and conflict between older and newer media logics. The area of investigation is particularly topical now as the refugee crisis of 2015 continues to amplify the public debates on racism in Finland and Europe. By exploring the formations of racism in hybrid media the project gains information that is crucial for constructing civic society and social cohesion for the future of multicultural societies.

Previous research on racism has focused on the formations of the extreme right and the rise of populism in political communication or experiences of racism unrelated to media. There is a pressing need for an understanding of everyday racism and anti-racism, and the ways in which they are inescapably embedded in media practices in contemporary media-saturated societies.

The cross-disciplinary project applies cutting-edge methodology with an innovative combination of the computational and social sciences. An exceptionally large dataset collected from the Finnish online discussions including all media platforms and the main social media networks provides a unique opportunity for research synergy. The consortium is developing a method path from online dataset to qualitative research with rich combinations of methods from rhetoric analysis to multimodal semiotic analysis. The research path continues from qualitative analysis to live, experiential laboratory experiments created for the purposes of this project. Thus HYBRA is unique in its scope both nationally and internationally. The results will have a high academic impact on social cohesion and policy making, providing new knowledge and concrete steps to tackle problems of racism – with particular attention to addressing the new, more implicit and mediated forms of racism.

Project news and updates can be found in our Rajapinta-blog under the tag hybra.

Consortium PI: Professor Kaarina Nikunen, University of Tampere
Consortium sub-project PI: Professor Mervi Pantti, University of Helsinki
Consortium sub-project PI: Professor Marko Turpeinen, Aalto University
Duration: 1.9.2016-31.12. 2019
Funded by the Academy of Finland.

Research: hashtags widely used in political campaigning in the 2015 elections

Analysing the Finnish Parliamentary elections held on Sunday, 19 April, researchers from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University found that Finnish politicians and political activists had adopted hashtags wholeheartedly in the latest elections. An analysis of nearly two hundred thousand election tweets reveals that hashtags have become a key campaign method in the realm of politics also. Nearly every party in the recent elections had its own campaign hashtag – as did numerous candidates.

“Hashtags were an essential campaign element not only for political parties, but also for many other participants ranging from NGOs to the media,” says researcher Salla-Maaria Laaksonen of the Communication Research Centre CRC. “An inherent aim of the format is to secure citizens’ pledges to vote and to recruit candidates who stand by the campaign’s values.”

Around 16,000 of the tweets with election-related hashtags were written by candidates, while the bulk, or 91% of all the messages, came from other participants: voters, interest groups and media representatives. A total of 938, or nearly 44%, of the MP candidates are present on Twitter. Although the candidates’ Twitter presence doubled from the previous Parliamentary elections, talking about Twitter elections would still be a stretch.

Twitter use varies greatly by region. The bulk of tweets from October to the Thursday before election day were sent by candidates of the Greens and the National Coalition Party in the Helsinki and Uusimaa electoral districts.

A network analysis of tweets and Instagram messages featuring the #vaalit2015 election hashtag reveals that election-related communication took place largely within party groups. Hashtags and users appearing together in messages are displayed close to each other in the network graph.

The National Coalition, the former Prime Minister’s party, and the Centre Party, the favourite heading into the elections, stood out as their own cluster in terms of both topics and participants communicating with one another. The Greens also formed their own clique: while active on Twitter, they converse mainly among themselves. The third clearly distinguishable cluster was unrelated to parties: child and youth organisations and their campaign hashtags sparked active discussions.

The general hashtags (#vaalit2015 and #politiikka) were for the most part accompanied by hashtags referring to political parties. Other common topics included the economy (#talous), work (#työ), security policy (#turpo), voting advice applications (#vaalikoneet) and the social welfare and health care reform (#sote).

Analysis of electoral material to continue

The University of Helsinki’s and Aalto University’s joint project on the 2015 cyberelections (Digivaalit 2015) examines the online attention garnered by topics related to Parliamentary elections. The project participants and the National Library collected election-related content from various social media services from the beginning of the year until election day. The participants will now use the material for more detailed analyses.

In their preliminary analysis, the researchers combed through more than 175,000 tweets sent between 13 November 2014 and 16 April 2015 featuring the hashtags #vaalit2015, #valet2015, #vaalit or #politiikka, or the words vaalit, poliitikko, politiikka or poliitikot (elections, politician, politics or politicians). The candidates’ information and user names were obtained from the public data used in the voting advice applications of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

The participants in the 2015 cyberelection project include the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, a joint research institute of Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, as well as the University of Helsinki’s Communication Research Centre, CRC. The project is funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

Cyber-elections 2015 – a big data study on the agenda around the Finnish Parliamentary Elections 2015

The research project analyzes the use of the digital media and agenda setting processes in the Finnish parliamentary elections in 2015. The study builds on political science and communication studies by combining normalization hypothesis with agenda building research.

The theoretical starting point is the normalization hypothesis formulated within political studies. This hypothesis suggests that the practices in online media will be formed and transformed by the practices in offline media. In this project, the question of normalization is combined with the theorizing about agenda setting and agenda building, as we ask who defines the digital agenda around the elections. Is the agenda normalized in traditional media, social media or in voting advice applications?

Our approach is strongly interdisciplinary. Computational social science and big data methods are conjoined with online ethnography to produce scientific knowledge of the online public sphere and human behavior. Our aim is to shed light to the ways different news and conversations topics are formed in and between different types of media.  Simultaneously our aim is to lay foundations for new approaches to conduct cross-disciplinary big data studies in the future.

The project partners are Digital Content Communities group at HIIT, Aalto and the Communication Research Center at University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Science. The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. The project is led by Senior Research Scientist Marko Turpeinen (HIIT) and Director Mikko VIlli (CRC).

The project runs from 1.1.2015 to 31.3.2016.

Media2: The Media game of the future

Media2 research project aims to find out how audiences’ emotional, mental images of media corporations and their brands affect media consumption decisions. In addition, the project will study to what extent the competitive advantage of media corporations can be explained by their emotional reputation when competing on market share and paying customers.

Further, the project will look into the possibilities offered by psychophysiological research methods to the evaluation of media companies and the content they produce; we are combining communication and sociological research to psychophysiological measurements, the latter of which will give detailed information on the unconscious emotional and motivational processes related to consumption decisions. Our empirical goal is to analyze the ways media corporate reputation is communicated and mediated  in consumption situations and to build emotional profiles for media consumers based on our measurements and user  interviews.

Our research setting is based on the hypothesis that emotional experiences and the actions and decisions they mediate have a significant effect on the willingness of media consumers to use the free and pay services offered by a certain media company.

Media2 project is a joint collaboration between Communication Research Centre (CRC) at University of Helsinki, Centre for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) at Aalto University School of Economics and Institutions and Social Mechanisms (IASM) at University of Turku.

Project duration: 1.1.2010 – 31.12.2012

The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

More information in the project blog (in english)

Contact person at CRC:
Pekka Aula
pekka.aula at helsinki.fi
Tel. +358-9-191 24918

Facing the Coordination Challenge: Problems, Policies, and Politics in Media and Communication Regulation

The background of the project is on the emerging European policy paradigm of media and communications policy-making on the one hand, and its impacts on the Finnish national media systems and their institutional foundations on the other hand. Previous empirically oriented research has focused mainly on transformations of media policy in a national context, whereas analyses employing broader communication perspectives are relatively scarce. The project is anchored on four case studies concerning the press, broadcasting, telecommunication, and copyright (especially in the Internet). Organizing the research into case studies allows the integration of various methodological approaches into the analysis (quantitative and qualitative content analysis of legislation, policy documents, news media content, and interviews of key actors in policy formation).

More details available on the project website.

Project leader Hannu Nieminen, hannu.nieminen@helsinki.fi
Funded by the Academy of Finland

Event: School Shootings – Global phenomenon of the media age?

Time: 14-16, Jan 8, 2013
Venue: Think Corner (Tiedekulma),
Aleksanterinkatu 7, Helsinki

The event will launch an international anthology, School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age (Emerald). In this cross-disciplinary book school shootings are explored and analysed as a global phenomenon of the media era from a variety of cultural and social perspectives. The articles cover themes such as the relationship of journalism and violence, the roles of the victims and witnesses in the media, and the young and the visual imagery of violence. The international collective of writers represent different disciplines, including media research, psychology and sociology.

Editors of the anthology, Professor of sociology Glenn Muschert (Miami
University, USA) and adjunct professor of communication Johanna Sumiala (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki).
Other Finnish writers, for example University Lecturer of communication Salli Hakala (University of Helsinki), researcher Jari Väliverronen (Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication COMET, University of Tampere) and researcher (psychology) Klas Backholm (Åbo Akademi).

The language of the event is English and it is open to everyone. The event is closely linked to the Science Forum 2013. The theme of the Science Forum 2013 is crisis.

Video on the book lauch and open discussion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtzvKhbMFaA&list=PL3C9A924422E16128&index=22 /

Further information:
Johanna Sumiala, johanna.sumiala(at)helsinki.fi

Youth Street Politics in the Media Age: Helsinki and London Compared

The aim of the ‘Youth Street Politics in the Media Age’ project is to study the construction of youth-related social problems in contemporary societies where the media plays an increasing role in constructing and maintaining social and spatial reality. This interdisciplinary project examines how public narratives – classically called as “moral panics” – over suburban youth in Helsinki and London are constructed in the media and how the youth themselves use urban space – the ‘street’ – to confirm and/or subvert these media representations. The project will also explore how the street is used to give voice to the experiences of social and spatial inequality in a broader sense, and how what we call ‘youth street politics’ – more or less organised youth action – is used to challenge these experiences. However, unlike previous research, the project redefines the concept of the ‘street’ to include also youth-generated social media content about the urban experience, for example, on YouTube. Recent events around the world, from North Africa to London and Wall Street have shown the importance of social media in creating social change and in globalising originally localised, urban movements. A comparative analysis of youth street politics in Helsinki and London enables us to argue how both the ‘street’ and ‘politics’ are redefined in European urban youth experience and whether this kind of youth politics has an impact in an intergenerational framework in a Europe concerned about youth political participation.

The project is interdisciplinary, combining perspectives from sociology, youth studies, urban studies and media studies. Although attention has recently been paid to major media events such as the global Occupy Wall Street movement, the London riots and the North African revolutions (e.g. LSE & Guardian 2011), to our knowledge there is no comparative work on local and informal youth street politics that utilises both street ethnography and media ethnography, and which aims to analyse the configurations of the local and the global in two cities, in our case namely Helsinki and London. In the project socio-spatial dialectics linked with youth street politics are carefully analysed. In other words, the project will point out not only sociological but also geographical perspectives to the object of study, thus offering new ways of understanding the issues related to the struggle of geography and spatial justice that contemporary young people experience, both in physical and virtual surroundings.

The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. Funding period 1.6.2012–31.5.2014

Titus Hjelm (UCL), Minttu Tikka (University of Helsinki), Leena Suurpää (The Finnish Youth Research Society), Johanna Sumiala (University of Helsinki) in cooperation with the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, The British Council, and The Finnish Institute in London.

IieP Immigrant inclusion by eParticipation

As the internet has become accessible to most citizens, it is justified to consider the social media paradigm as a potential instrument of supporting citizens’ more effective social, political and cultural participation in the society. Many obstacles still remain on the way of harnessing new possibilities for inclusion and participation of marginalized groups. Obstacles such as outdated administrative practices and incompatible technologies.

The project IIeP improves social, political and cultural inclusion of immigrants in Estonia, Finland and Sweden. The project integrates tools, activities and concepts of citizen communities and the governments’ top-down participation practices and technologies.

The outcomes of the project include recommendations for the integration of participatory activities of citizen communities with participation-facilitating approaches of governments. The project also produce a manual to advice immigrant communities and authorities in the best practices for applying ICT to promote better social, political and cultural inclusion.

Programme: Central Baltic Programme
Priority: Attractive and dynamic societies
Direction of support:  Improving living conditions and social inclusion

Lead Partner
University of Helsinki, Palmenia Centre of Continuing Education, Finland (Helsinki)

Other partners
Tallinn University, Institute of Informatics, Estonia (Tallinn)
Ministry of Justice, Finland (Helsinki)
University of Helsinki, Communication Department, Finland (Helsinki)
Södertörn University, Sweden (Handen)

Duration: 31 months 10/2009-04/2012

Partners: TEKES ja Teknologiateollisuus

Project leader at CRC: Sinikka Sassi

Conference: Conflict of public values and private interests? European media in 2012

Conflict of public values and private interests? European media in 2012
Time: 9.30-16.46 , Friday 27th of April, 2012
Venue: University of Helsinki, lecture hall,Unioninkatu 35

There is historically a close connection between the media and the ideal of democracy. It is a common understanding that the media is guided by the values of the freedom of speech, the plurality of platforms, and diversity of contents. However, according to many scholars, in the last decades this connection has been seriously challenged by economic and commercial values. It is claimed that due to this, a major change in the social role of the media has taken place, and that it is not public interest but the interests of the shareholders that the media serve today.  Not everybody agrees, however. The counter argument is that European media are still a long way from full commercialisation, and that the media are still able to successfully defend their democratic function.

The conference ”The conflict of public values and private interests? European media in 2012” addresses the tension between the democratic aims and the commercial gains experienced in the field of European media and communication. The speakers include internationally well known European scholars as well as the representatives of media companies. The conference is open to public, but registration is recommended.

The conference is free of charge and open for everyone, however, the number of participants is restricted due to limited seating; therefore, participation requires registration. Please register at https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/34607/lomake.html latest by April 20.

09:30 Morning coffee
10:00 Opening of the Conference
Dr. Mervi Pantti, Head of the Media and Global Communication programme
Session 1: Is there a crisis in European media?
Professor Josef Trappel, University of Salzburg
Professor Jeanette  Steemers, University of Westminster
Dr. Ismo Silvo, Chief Operating Officer, Operations, YLE
11:30 Coffee break
11:45 Session 2: Controlling the Internet: whose responsibility?
Professor Niklas Bruun, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Professor Laura Berges, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Dr. Johanna Jääsaari, University of Helsinki
13:00 Lunch break (lunch at own cost)
14:00 Session 3: Does PSM still have a future?
Professor Barbara Thomass, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
MP Ilkka Kantola, Chair, YLE Administrative Council
Professor Helena Sousa, University of Minho
15:15 Coffee break
15:30 Session 4: How to accommodate public values and private interests in European media 2012?
Professor Anker Brink Lund, Copenhagen Business School
[CEO Valtteri Niiranen, Federation of the Finnish Media Industry]
Dr. Kari Karppinen, University of Helsinki
16:45 Closing of the Conference

Professor Hannu Nieminen, hannu.nieminen(at)helsinki.fi, tel. +358 91912 4838
Coordinator Pauliina Shilongo, pauliina.shilongo(at)helsinki.fi, tel. +358 01912 3752


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

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

More information on the project website

The Future of Local Newspapers

The project examines the local newspapers in the context of broader crisis in the newspaper industry and changes in journalistic cultures. The aim is to achieve a global view of the future prospects of local newspapers in the framework of regional differences and economic conditions, and of the journalistic role of local newspapers in the newspaper industry.

Journalists’ Privilege to Use Confidential Sources

The project focuses on journalists’ right to use confidential sources without being forced to identify them. The aim of the study is to find the normative justifications of this privilege in law and in ethical codes and evaluate how the use of this right has changed over time. The empirical data consists of recent cases in Finnish journalism. Analysis concentrates on media contents, interviews of key actors and relevant literature.

Cut-and-paste Journalism?

A study on the sourcing practices in news media

The starting point of the study is the claim that the news media are increasingly dependent on ‘pre-packaged news,’ which has been seen as jeopardizing the independence of news journalism.

The aim of the study is to test two observations made in recent international studies: First, it is argued that external sources have ever more power over media and that, in particular, public relations professionals have increasing influence on news content. The relationship between journalism and PR has been typically characterized as adversarial. Recently, however, there have been growing concerns that, as the time pressures and demands for productivity intensify, journalists are increasingly unable to resist the influence of the public relations professionals.

Second, the independence of news output is said to be threatened by the fact that newsrooms increasingly circulate content within the media and are, thus, more dependent on each other. From the perspective of society, the problem is that competition tends to decrease diversity. Also, if the sourcing practices are not transparent, it is difficult for the audience to assess the origins and accuracy of the information.

This study observes the sourcing practices of news media through quantitative and qualitative analysis. The aim is twofold: First, the purpose is to explore the relationship between PR and journalism by establishing the extent to which Finnish journalism depends on public relations for its output and how this is manifested in news content. The second goal is to identify the role played by other media in shaping news content and to track how much the newsrooms derive and circulate material from their rivals.

The study consists of two phases: The first part is based on quantitative content analysis, while the second part consists of interviews with news journalists. The focus is on seven Finnish national news organisations: the Finnish national news agency (STT), the public broadcasting company (YLE), the two biggest commercial broadcasters (MTV3 and Nelonen), the biggest national daily (Helsingin Sanomat) and both of the Finnish tabloids (Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti).

Contact person:
Esa Väliverronen
esa.valiverronen at helsinki.fi
+358-9-191 24841

Crisis and Communication: The Role of the Finnish Red Cross in the Organization and Communication of an Acute Crisis

The main focus is on the crisis communication of the Finnish Red Cross and its operations as an organizer in an acute crisis.

The project is closely related to the Crisis and Communication Research Project, where the co-operation of the local and regional authorities and the voluntary rescue service has emerged as an essential section of the study.

There are not many studies on crises from the perspective of voluntary agencies. The previous study have shown that in the Asian tsunami, school shootings of Jokela and Kauhajoki and Nokia water crisis the roles and the responsibilities of the authorities and the voluntary rescue service are confused.

The operations of the Finnish Red Cross are directed by law. This makes the role of the Finnish Red Cross different from the roles of other voluntary agencies.

The project leader is University Lecturer Salli Hakala.
Researchers are MSocSc Minttu Tikka and MSocSc, M. Sc. (Econ) Maarit Pedak.

Contact person:
Salli Hakala
salli.hakala at helsinki.fi
+358-9-191 23770
+358-9-191 28032

Russia in the Finnish Media

The project explores from diverse perspectives what kind of image the Finnish media portray of Russia and Russians. This will be examined not only at the level of the media content, but also at the level of journalistic practices, the culture of political and public debate and at the level of citizens.

Public event: The Future of Journalism and its Value for Democracy

Thursday, 13 October 2011, 13.15-16.30
University of Helsinki Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33, Helsinki

Keynote speakers: Jay Hamilton, Daya Thussu, Robert Picard and Michael Schudson
The event is free of charge, however, the number of participants is restricted due to limited seating; therefore, participation requires registration. Please register at https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/29020/lomake.html by 30 September 2011.

Communication Research Centre CRC is pleased to invite everyone concerned about the future of journalism to a half-day conference to discuss challenges to the business of journalism and their implications for democracy from an international perspective.Some changes in the business of journalism – like the rise of the Internet – have a global character. Yet many prominent media and communication researchers have argued that a proper understanding of these trends and their implications for democracy in particular countries require more internationally comparative research.
In the US, the UK and many parts of Western Europe, the Internet is eroding the current business models for advertising funded journalism as revenues and readers move from print to the web. In the Nordic countries, the downward pressures are present, but their impact on circulation and profitability has been less severe. Meanwhile in the BIICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) growth remains the order of the day, with newspaper circulation rising by 35% overall between 2000-2008.
To clarify threats and opportunities that journalism faces in differences countries, four renowned keynote speakers will discuss actual trends in media use and practices, different responses to the challenges at hand, and their implications for journalism and democracy.


13.15 – 13.30         Brief welcome, Hannu Nieminen
13.30 – 14.00         What’s the incentive to save journalism?, James Hamilton
14.00 – 14.30         Global trends in media and journalism, Daya Thussu
14.30 – 15.00         Journalism as business today, Robert Picard
15.00 – 15.30         Journalism futures: US experience, Michael Schudson
15.30 – 16.30         Discussion. Moderator David Levy, Reuters Institute

About the speakers:

Daya Thussu is Professor of International Communication and Co-Director of India Media Centre, the world’s first academic centre dedicated to the study of media in India and its globalizing tendencies. He has published extensively in the field of global media and communication. His International Communication – Continuity and Change has already established itself as a key text in the field of global communication, adopted for courses in universities around the world.

David Levy became Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Director in 2008. He was Controller, Public Policy at the BBC until 2007 where he led the BBC’s policy for the Charter Review and was in charge of public policy & regulation. His areas of expertise include modernising public service broadcasting, public service reform, the impact of digital technology, and media ownership and regulation both within the UK and Europe. Prior to his BBC policy role he worked as a journalist, first for the BBC World Service and then for BBC News and Current Affairs

Michael Schudson is a professor at Columbia School of Journalism. He is the author of six books and editor of two others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. He is the recipient of a number of honors; he has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow. In 2004, he received the Murray Edelman distinguished career award from the political communication section of the American Political Science Association and the International Communication Association.

James “Jay” Hamilton is the Charles S. Sydnor Professor of Public Policy at Duke University, as well as a professor of economics and political science. In 2004, he became director of undergraduate studies in the public policy department. Hamilton’s scholarly work and numerous publications reflect his interests in the economics of regulation, public choice/political economy, environmental policy and the media.

Robert Picard is Hamrin Professor of Media Economics and Director of the MMT centre at the Jönköping International Business School.His research focuses on economic structures of media markets, media industries and firms, demand for media products and services, business models and strategies of media operations, productivity of media firms, financial performance, and government policies affecting economic aspects of media. His research has involved newspapers, advertising, broadcasting, and new media. He is the author and editor of 20 books, editor of the Journal of Media Business Studies and is the founding editor of the Journal of Media Economics.

The event is made possible by the sponsorship of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

Digital Reputation

Digital Reputation; Characterizing and parameterizing reputation, reputation risks and the impact of digital publicity on client/customer intelligence and the competitive advantage of service organizations (DiRe)

The project’s aims include defining reputation management in digital publicity by building on existing research on reputation risk, organizational communication and management studies and studies on online communication. Our multi-discipline approach also introduces linguistic tools and methods in order to develop a framework for reputational modeling and analysis of digital publicity contents. During the research project we will use EEG, facial AMG and EDA measurements to study emotional and motivational processes associated with digital reputation.

Project is funded by Tekes and running 1.1.2010-30.6.2011. Partners in the project are University of Helsinki, Aalto University School of Economics and University of Turku.

More information in the project blog (in english)

Contact person at CRC:
Pekka Aula
pekka.aula at helsinki.fi
Tel. +358-9-191 24918

Election Funding Crisis: Media and Politics at Crossroads?

The study aims to elucidate the significance of the election funding crisis that started in spring 2008. It seems that the decades-old, established practices of the Finnish political system are in a crisis. This offers an excellent opportunity to shed light on the relationship between the media and the political system.

The objective is to form an overall picture of the election funding crisis and answer the following three questions. First, how has the relationship between journalism and politics developed and how is it developing? Second, to which extent has the crisis affected the credibility of the media and politics in public’s eye? Third, what is the significance of the crisis to the future of journalism?

Answers are provided by interviewing key actors, analyzing media content, and examining public’s impressions on the crisis with two representative surveys and analyses of small group data and online discussions.  The project is linked to a comparative Nordic project on political scandals in the Nordic countries since 1980.

The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and conducted by the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere. The director of the project is university lecturer Anu Kantola and the other researchers in Helsinki are Salli Hakala and Juho Vesa.

Contact person:
Anu Kantola
anu.kantola at helsinki.fi
+358-9-191 24653

OSVI – Participative internal communication supporting work well-being in organisations

The goal of the OSVI –research project was to study innovative participative internal communication solutions which could be used to create better work well-being in organisations. Project was focused on public sector organisation, the city of Lahti, Finland. Project started in early fall 2009 and will be finalized in the end of 2010.

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used during the research process. The whole staff of Lahti was asked to take part in a quantitative e-survey and multiple focus-group interviews were done in all levels of the organisation.

The qualitative part of the research open ups views of unique features of municipal organisation. The multi-hierarchical type of municipal government requires special permanent routines for the internal communication.

The quantitative part of the research found four typical dimensions of internal communication which are essential to the work well-being. The dimensions are: Participation, Communality, Support and Trust.

Further information, please contact:

Pasi Pekkola
Palmenia Center for Continuing Education

Maarit Pedak
Communication Research Centre CRC

Media for Democracy Monitor II

The project will deliver a country report on Finland for the international, comparative research project Media for Democracy Monitor (MDM). The aim of the MDM project is to develop a social science based monitoring instrument for assessing the contribution of media for democracy in established democracies. It has been developed at the University of Zurich and tested before in five European countries. The 2010 project comprises 12 countries.

The country reports have been discussed in an international project seminar in October 2010, and their results will be published as a book in 2011. The Finnish sub-project is funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. The project is led by Professor Hannu Nieminen and its researchers are Kari Karppinen and Anna-Laura Markkanen.

Contact person at CRC:
Hannu Nieminen
hannu.nieminen at helsinki.fi
+358-9-191 24838

In collaboration with Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

Global Value Networks, Innovation Clusters, and Finnish Firms

The objective is to explore the Finnish companies’ new competitive options in the context of global innovation clusters and global value networks. The perspective is future-driven. The idea is to examine the drivers of the business value activities in different geographies and in different business segments.

The study will focus on MNCs – in particular ‘cluster flagships’ – and SMEs which play different roles in the globalizing value networks and innovation clusters. Additionally, the project pays special attention to systemic differences between and within the markets.

The output of the project will comprise three seminars, an additional seminar for decision-makers, and a final report (max 100 pp).

  1. The seminars seek to prepare the participants for new strategic thinking in the post-crisis environment. The participants will also include member firms of The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.
  2. The report focuses on the transformation of the global value networks and innovation clusters, the acceleration impact of the global recession and the ensuing opportunities of Finnish multinationals and SMEs in these networks.

Duration: 1.6.2010–31.12.2011. The project is funded by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

Project manager:
Janne Matikainen
janne.matikainen at helsinki.fi
Tel. +358-9-191 24369

Researcher: Dan Steinbock

Charlie Bit My Finger! What News Media Can Learn from YouTube?

The purpose of the research project is to achieve a more profound understanding of workings of YouTube as a community building media. The project analyzes how YouTube establishes communities, the contents that appear most attractive in terms of community formation and the operation of the relationship between the media and the user in the YouTube environment.

The project applies online ethnography to analyze everyday communication patterns in YouTube. The ethnographic material collected is further analyzed and discussed in the context of research conducted on news media. By analyzing differences and similarities in the communication patterns between YouTube and news media, the project aims to offer new knowledge about the use of communication media to establish communities and a sense of belonging in today’s media society.

The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

Timetable 2010-2011.

Contact person at the University of Helsinki
Johanna Sumiala
tel. +358 9 191 23632

Minttu Tikka
+358 9 191 24759

Contemporary Values and Heroes in the Newspapers

The research aims to clarify the various ways in which national value has been constructed in Estonia, Finland and Russia, and show the role of the newspaper in the development of national public sphere by studying the structures, actors and values in Finnish, Estonian and Russian dailies 1901 – 2009.

Funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. Project partner University of Tarto. Timetable 1.1.2009-31.8.2010.

Hannu Nieminen
hannu.nieminen ät helsinki.fi
+358-9-191 24838

Russian Media 2007: Competition and Convergence

The research project took place between 1 May 2007 and 31 September 2008. The project was conducted by the Faculty of Journalism of the Moscow State University and the Communication Research Centre, Department of Communication in the University of Helsinki. The project’s academic directors were Professor Elena Vartanova and Professor Hannu Nieminen. The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation provided the main funding.

Final result of the project is a collection of research reports:

Elena Vartanova, Hannu Nieminen & Minna-Mari Salminen (Eds.)
Perspectives to the Media in Russia: “Western” Interests and Russian Developments
Publisher: Kikimora Publications (May 2009)

The origin of the project is in the discussions that Elena Vartanova and Hannu Nieminen had in summer 2006 in Helsinki. It was then realised that there is no comprehensive account in English of the present state and future prospects of Russian media. Helsingin Sanomat Foundation offered generously financial support for the project, and this made it possible to recruit MA Minna-Mari Salminen as a Finnish researcher for the project, as well as to collect a group of experts in Moscow University to contribute to the project.

The main issues that the project has aimed to answer were formulated in the original research plan as follows:

1. What is the contemporary structure of Russian media industry, media market with a particular focus on traditional media segments (newspapers and magazines, analogue television and radio), as well as on new media (internet, digital broadcasting and mobile telephony)? What are the major patterns of ownership structures?

2. What is the role of the growing advertising market in creating of new formats, content strategies and programming concepts for the Russian media? How new modes of financing are transforming Russian media at the national and regional/local levels? What effects on media systems have been made by the growth of advertising industry and how advertising shapes the present structures of national and regional/local markets? How convergence has changed the configuration of national and regional media markets? What are the most affordable business-models in the Russian media at national and regional/local levels?

3. How market-based Russian media industry is affected by the requirements of national and regional audience? What are the present trends in media use by Russians with the particular emphasis on who uses, what, where, for which purpose and how with an emphasis on residential, economic, gender, educational, and life style factors? How increased media competition has influenced the patterns of media uses in Russia?

4. How changing structure of Russian media and patterns of audience behaviour have affected the state’s media policy and what are currently the main trends in state regulation?

Further information:

Research director
Professor Hannu Nieminen

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