Prioritising National Competitiveness over Support for Democracy? Finnish Media Policy in the 21st Century

Marko Ala-Fossi, Mikko Grönlund, Katja Lehtisaari, Heikki Hellman, Kari Karppinen, Hannu Nieminen

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Abstract

Ever since the launch of the World Press Freedom Index almost 20 years ago, Finland has always been among the top five countries of that index. According to the annual Reuters Digital News reports, Finnish people also have the highest level of trust in the news media and one of the highest levels of press readership in the EU. Most of the media companies are doing quite well, while Google and Facebook have a much less dominant role in the advertising market than elsewhere in Europe. In this context, you might expect Finland to have a comprehensive and visionary media and communications policy to support democracy. However, our meta-study of Finnish media and communications policy based on two recent reportsto the Ministry of Transport and Communications, other earlier studies, along with official documents as well as statistical data suggests that is not the case. Our analysis shows that most decisions have been pragmatic ad hoc solutions serving economic interests rather than any specifi c media and communication policy goals. A closer examination also proves that Finland does not fit into the Nordic Media Welfare State model either, despite a long, shared history and cultural ties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-175
Number of pages26
JournalStudia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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