chapter  9
15 Pages

Public Journalism in Finnish Mainstream Newspapers

ByLAURA AHVA

Public journalism in Finland has typically assumed forms in which the original ideas of the public/civic journalism movement-initiated in the United States by Jay Rosen and others-have merged with other reader-oriented aspirations of the newspapers. Newspapers that have incorporated a public journalism style have adapted the ideas to fi t them to Finnish newsroom cultures and commercial needs. A study of public journalism in Finland is signifi cant because it illuminates the reception and evolution of public journalism in the context of a Nordic welfare society. Some scholars argue that public journalism as a product of American context is ill-adaptable to other cultures (Richards 2000). However, Heikkilä and Kunelius (2003: 199) pose the counterargument that in the social sciences, we need to feed ourselves with others’ ideas in order to avoid clinging onto our own immediate contextual restrictions. With the translation of public journalism from the American context to the Nordic one the question cannot be posed as ‘does the idea of public journalism work elsewhere?’ Rather, we can ask, ‘what aspects of the Nordic culture do the idea and its application reveal?’