The future imaginary of journalism
Knowledge, action and ethics as the basic dimensions
of journalistic futures imagination
This article asks how to study future as a cultural object in late modernity. For this purpose, an analytical framework that conceptualizes futures imagination as a three-dimensional practice involving representing futures, transforming futures through action and taking responsibility for futures through ethical contemplation is presented. Journalistic futures imagination is then investigated in relation to journalism’s epistemology, institutional role and ethical ideology and conceptualized as journalistic futures knowledge, futures work and futures responsibility. The theoretical analysis is illustrated with a case study of a specific futures correspondent appointed by Helsingin Sanomat for the year 2018.
Key words: Journalism, futures imagination, future imaginary
Suvi-Sadetta Kaarakainen & Meri-Tuulia Kaarakainen
Tomorrow's brightest stars -
Young people's digital media usage as a source of
participation and competence
Participatory cultures, which build upon diverse technologies and media, are of key importance to general well-being, experience of inclusion and development of skills for future citizenship, working life and digital participation among young people. Differences in digital technology usage are significant; young people are not homogenous digital media users and the different usage habits produce diverse kind of participation and competencies. In this article, we examine which kind are the user profiles of young people, how gender and education level affect the distribution of youngters across different user profiles, and how the user profiles associate with their digital skills. Based on the cluster analysis, we identified four distinct user groups among 8 661 examined youngsters: Average users, male-dominant versatile users, female-dominant social users and limited users. The transition to the secondary education level was found to increase the digital inclusion of young people. In general, based on the results of this study, the use of digital technologies among young people, dominated by personal entertainment and social use, should be seen especially as a source of learning, participation and general well-being.
Key words: Digital media, user profiles, young people, participatory cultures
Foreign news filled with hope:
A methodological comparative approach to Finnish
and American news articles
This article presents a new method to measure the relative breadth of news frames. The method has been inspired by area studies – an approach which combines and integrates viewpoints of different disciplines to understand complex realities of distant regions in a holistic manner. The purpose is to understand ways in and extent to which journalists combine and integrate diverse perspectives to explain complex realities in foreign news. I apply my method to a comparison of Finnish and American news articles focusing on South Africa and Brazil. My research demonstrates that Finnish and American journalists have excelled in their efforts to combine frames with different positive and negative dimensions to illustrate the complex character of realities in the Global South. My research also demonstrates that the frames were sponsored mostly by Southern sources, including underprivileged citizens. Thus, my work challenges researchers’ claims that Western news on the Global South is one-sided and narrow. I attribute these surprising findings at least partly to my method. With this article I participate in the discussion concerning the future of journalism while arguing that the journalists have great capacity to cover the so-called developing world in a multifaceted manner. My paper also sheds light to the fruitfulness of cross-national comparative research.
Key words: Frame analysis, foreign news, cross-national comparative research, Global South, area studies
Antti Laine & Riikka Turtiainen
Sports journalism as society’s watchdog?
A case-specific study of the news on the development project
of high-level sports in Finnish newspapers
In this article the research subject is news on the development project of high-level sports in Finnish newspapers. The project was carried out from 2010 to 2012 and was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture with 2.6 million euros. The aim of the study is to analyse how sports journalism fulfils the role of society’s watchdog. The research material consists of all the articles published about the project in the print versions of the three Finnish daily newspapers with the largest circulation numbers (Aamulehti, Helsingin Sanomat and Turun Sanomat) and both Finnish tabloid newspapers (Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat). The time period is limited to the six months (06.12.2012–05.06.2013) following the publication of the final report of the project (5.12.2012) by the work group (HuMu). The analysis combines both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative examination gives a general overview of the total number and volume of the articles published as well as the time of their publication. Qualitative content analysis is used to determine which subject matters were handled in the news and how they were depicted.
All newspapers involved in the study published news on the development project. However, considering the length of the time period, the controversies that arose in relation to the development project and other public discussions about the controversies, there were relatively few news articles and they were also quite docile in nature. Very few critical articles were written by journalists, and even then, they appeared months after the publication of the final report – once the controversies in the group’s work had been brought to light by other persons. The most critical articles were opinion pieces by readers and other people who were not part of the newspaper staff. The study revealed that based on the news concerning the development project of high-level sports, the sports journalism of Finnish newspapers is society’s toothless watchdog.
Key words: sports journalism, development project of high-level sports, HuMu, society’s watchdog, content analysis
Celebrating and resurrecting the past:
Authenticity and nostalgia in newspaper texts legitimating
organic and local food
This article investigates the discourses legitimating organic and local food in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The article utilizes previous research on food journalism and on cultural taste, and employs theories relating to the concepts of authenticity and nostalgia. The analysis aims to identify the discursive ways in which food is described as legitimate, and how, in particular, the discourses of authenticity and nostalgia intertwine with cultural capital in the studied newspaper texts. I employ the method of critical discourse analysis. The analysis suggests the following: Newspaper texts legitimating organic and local food rely on 1) tradition, history, artisanship, personality, and simplicity in the context of authenticity and on 2) luxury and the revival of the past in the context of nostalgia. In addition, the analysed texts touch on cultural capital, and the politics of food are overshadowed by privileged discourses and the invisibility of wealth.
Key words: Discourse analysis, journalism, food culture, authenticity, nostalgia