In recent years, the oppressive political and legal climate in many countries has forced independent journalists and media actors into exile. Syria, Belarus, Afghanistan, Russia are recent examples of a long list of countries, from were journalists are expelled en masse. Being displaced, many of them strive to continue their operations in exile in other countries and have to adapt to a completely foreign regulatory environment and an unstable political context. Exilic journalists face professional and personal crisis and have to reconsider own professional identity crisis, adapt to precarious nature of the labour, and survive within financial insustainability. Online talk in September combines three research projects on exiled journalism from Syria and Russia to discuss challenges and resilience of the displaced media and find approaches to scholarship on exiled journalism as worldwide phenomenon.

Yazan Badran from Vrije Universiteit Brussel will present his research “Precarious newsroom: Dynamics of precarity and agency in Syrian exiled media in Turkey” where he addresses precarisation of journalistic work of media practitioners, whose professional and personal lifeworlds are underpinned by multiple layers of precarity. Jenny Wiik and Elena Johansson from Gothenburg University will talk on “Russian journalists in exile: rethinking of professional identity” where they ask how exile affects the professional identity of Russian journalists, and how they navigate the challenges associated with upholding their journalistic values and credibility. Finally, Katja Lehtisaari from Tampere University will share the tentative results of her interviews with donor organisations to explore “Resilient model(s) for independent media in exile” in order to understand the impact of financing model on journalistic autonomy and the agenda-setting of the exilic media outlets.

Online talk will be organized in Zoom September, 12 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you want to participate and get emails about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here until September, 11 noon: registration form. If you registered for Online talks or RMLN email list before, no need to register again, you will get the information.

Speakers’ bio:

Yazan Badran is a visiting professor at the Department of Communication Sciences and a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO) at the Echo and imec‐SMIT research centers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. He was a PhD fellow of the FWO (2016-2020). His research interests lie at the intersection of new journalism and political activism and the journalistic practices of emerging media organizations in the post‐2011 MENA region.

Elena Johansson is a lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Gothenburg. She was researcher at the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University until 2017. Her research focuses on political communication, professional journalistic cultures, and social media.

Jenny Wiik is an associate professor in media and communication studies at Gothenburg University and Lindholmen Science Park. Currently, she runs the research project The Automation of Journalism, financed by the Riksbank’s Jubilee Fund, as well as the project Journalism in Exile, funded by the Swedish Institute. Jenny has had various management assignments within the academy and, among other things, developed the international master’s program MIJ, Master’s program in Investigative journalism, at the University of Gothenburg.

Katja Lehtisaari is a senior lecturer in Journalism at Tampere University, Finland and Adjunct Professor (Title of Docent) at University of Helsinki. She is at the head of Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC) as well as a Work Package leader in the consortium Democratic Epistemic Capacity in the Age of Algorithms (DECA, 2023-), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. Her research topics vary from changing media structures and journalism to media business and media policy, often in an international, comparative setting.

Moderator: Olga Dovbysh, University of Helsinki

Online talk on Russian Media is a collaborative initiative between Russian Media Lab Network, University of Helsinki, and Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media. Schedule of the next Talks can be found here.

Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

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