Fellow’s book generates discussion about the future of journalism in Finland
In Finland, newspaper companies are still making handsome profits despite the inevitable decline in circulations. "There's a lot of complacency in the business", says Johanna Vehkoo, a former Journalist Fellow (2009–2010) and Visiting Fellow (2010–2011) of the RISJ
The mantra of the Finnish press industry goes like this: 'It can't happen here. We have strong traditions in newspaper subscriptions'.
Vehkoo thought that it was time for the Finnish press to wake up before it’s too late to try and stop the crisis of journalism from creeping into Finland. She wanted to turn the focus back into the content and services provided for the audience.
During her second year in Oxford, Vehkoo wrote her first book, Stop the Press! Tales from the Era of New Journalism, which was recently published in Finnish. Her research work was sponsored by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.
The book looks into the commonalities and differences between Finland, USA and Britain, when it comes to the depth of the crisis in the business of journalism. It also contains chapters about the relationship between journalism and democracy, the promise and peril of automated content and what the elusive concept of quality might actually mean in journalism. Vehkoo concludes the book by proposing a ten-step programme to save quality journalism.
The words 'New Journalism' in the book's subtitle refer to five trends that Vehkoo gives as examples of new, important trends in journalism. These are: transparency, leaksites, fact-checking websites, data journalism and slow journalism.
The book has received very positive reviews in the press and has been generating discussion about the future directions of Finnish journalism. The official publishing event, organised by the Sanomat Foundation and the book's publisher, Teos, was held in Helsinki in early October.
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