When economics and politics collide:
Austerity and reason in The Economist
In the aftermath of financial crisis and the euro crisis, journalism scholarship has been active in examining the journalistic representations of austerity. This article, however, takes a historical approach and investigates journalistic austerity debates in the light of the ideals and values characteristic of professional journalism. Building on a genealogical approach, the article analyses how the influential business magazine The Economist has addressed austerity from 1947 to 2012. The Economist legitimizes austerity by appealing to market demands or economic facts whereas ideas that challenge the politics of austerity are often deemed as irrational, driven by ideological goals or political pressure. The article argues that this is typical of professional liberal journalism which has positioned itself as the proponent of reason and common good. When it comes to issues of economic policy, other journalistic values, such as democracy, collide with economistic reasoning and market demands. The article argues that when dealing with these conflicts, journalism is faced with the democratic limits of liberalism.
Key words: journalism, reason, austerity, economic policy, liberalism, The Economist
Refugee coverage in MV-lehti:
Signifying mechanisms of ideological parlances
This paper investigates the European refugee crisis coverage in Finnish MV-lehti (WTF magazine). MV-lehti is one of best known, yet still controversial, online journals that is objecting to the traditional mainstream media in Finland. This effort examines the ideological parlances in the MV-lehti. The research takes the perspective of group polarization and utilizes the discourse narratology method. In today’s digital age, public discussion can become polarized especially on topics like refugees and immigration. Since autumn 2015, the immigrant exodus from the Middle East to Europe has been headlined all over the Europe and in Finland. This research investigates two news cases in MV-lehti. The first is the racist manifestation found on the gate of a Finnish emergency accommodation center in the autumn of 2015. The second examines the terrorist attacks of Isis in Paris in the autumn of 2015. According to the analysis, MV-lehti, with its ideological parlances, strengthens an intensive one-sided agenda. It is justifiable to argue that behind this one-sided rhetoric one can see a willful aim to create a strong polarization that tends to exaggerate the extreme perspective among like-minded readers.
Key words: MV-lehti, refugee coverage, group polarization, ideological parlance
Towards co-creation in television:
The television professionals’ current practices in using citizen voluntaries
The article investigates the television professionals’ identities and challenges in their professional development when they carry out audience activating television productions by utilizing reality genre and documentary means. The case study data was collected from three multi-platform productions for Finnish television, and the television professionals and teams were interviewed by using ethnographic and stimulated recall interviews and asked to reflect their working practices. The research focus was on how the television professionals wanted to show and use the voluntary citizens’ activity in these productions. When using citizens as performers in their programmes, the television professionals drew collectively on their traditional skills and tacit knowledge in creating dialogic narration and expression and in addressing the audience. On the other hand, the television professionals had tensions in organizing the actual co-operative production process with the citizen voluntaries. The article argues, that in the way to co-creative society, television is a pioneering and sustainable media form, capable to build multivocal presentations. According to the developmental framework of the article, the television professionals’ practices in promoting citizen engagement and co-operation form a continuum: the television professionals’ new skills in co-creation with the citizens are to be built on the relevant strata of their traditional craft skills.
Key words: Television production studies, professional development, citizen participation, reflection, co-creation