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The Times They Are a-Changing, But Slowly: Citizens’ Evaluations of Finnish Media and Journalism during the Recent Election Funding Crisis

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  • Jari VÄLIVERRONEN

    () (University of Tampere)

Abstract

In recent years, the influence of citizens on the media has increased in the political public sphere. However, research on their opinions about the media’s performance in this field remains fairly scarce. To shed light on the issue, this article focuses on citizens’ views of the media and journalism in Finland during the so-called election funding crisis in 2008–2011. The target is to find out how people evaluated journalism and journalists, which ways of reporting were considered acceptable or unacceptable, and how these evaluations differ from observations made in past studies. The issue is investigated both quantitatively and qualitatively in three different samples collected during the election funding crisis: two nationally representative surveys, two extensive online message board samples, and diaries written by 23 citizens. The results indicate that citizens’ attitude towards the media and journalism in Finland has become more ambiguous than in the past. On one hand, the active and adversarial reporting style used by journalists during the crisis garners more support from citizens who regard it as a sign of increasing openness. On the other hand, journalists are seen to have become too aggressive towards politicians while their reporting is accused of relinquishing journalism’s traditional tenets, such as objectivity and fairness.

Suggested Citation

  • Jari VÄLIVERRONEN, 2012. "The Times They Are a-Changing, But Slowly: Citizens’ Evaluations of Finnish Media and Journalism during the Recent Election Funding Crisis," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 2, pages 27-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2012:i:2:p:27-38
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    Keywords

    Political journalism; citizens; Finland; election funding crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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