To page body
university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: contact information: staff:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre

Heikki Hellman

Senior Research Fellow

heikki.hellman [at]
Tel. (int). +358 40 571 3184
Office: Main building, E237

Professional background

My background is firmly in journalism. I worked as a journalist in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland's major national daily, for 30 years (1980–2010). Most of that time I spent as the Culture Editor of the paper. Besides journalism, however, I did research on programme competition in media and broadcasting policy. Professionally I was trained at the University of Tampere with journalism and mass communication as major. I finished my master's degree in 1980 and licentiate's degree in 1992.

In 1993–1994, I took part in the Doctoral Programme of the CCIS at the University of Westminster, London, and defended my dissertation in Tampere in 1999. The study, From Companions to Competitors, dealt with the changes and uses of programming in broadcasting competition in Finland in the 1980s and the 1990s. The study demonstrated (1) that the changes in the Finnish television marketplace were evolutionary rather than revolutionary; (2) that both the public broadcaster YLE and the commercial broadcasters adapted to these changes by increasing their economic pragmatism and by targetting their programming more clearly than before; (3) that the programme output of the broadcasters ramained considerably stable over the research period, with a high share of informative programme categories and domestic programming, high programme diversity and a modrrate use of aggressive counterprogramming strategies.  

In 2008–2009, I served as the Visiting Professor of Journalism and, in 2011–2016, as the Dean of the School of Communication, Media and Theatre (CMT) at the University of Tampere. This encouraged a renewed interest in research with a broader focus than before. In 2012, I published a book Koko illan ilo? (Pleasures all night long?) analyzing the commercialization of television in Finland through a case study on Finland's Channel Three (Kolmoskanava). The study demonstrated how the launch of the new channel in 1986 reflected the specific political, cultural and economic setting of the Finnish society, thus representing a semi-commercial organization and balancing between public and commercial interests within society. At the same time. however, the launch of Kolmoskanava represented the beginning of the marketisation of television broadcasting in Finland.

Since the beginning of 2017, serving as Senior Research Fellow, I have a chance to concentrate (almost) fully on research. Two recent fields of inquiry are the 'crisis of journalism' and the changing status of radio music. As to my research on journalism, I'm focusing on the dissolving authority of cultural journalism which, in many ways, predicts future developments of the profession. I contribute actively to a Nordic researher network aiming at promoting research in the field, so far resulted in Nordic project funding, several conference panel sessions, two edited volumes and various co-authored articles (some of them still in print).


Media and broadcasting policy, television programming patterns, digitalization of television, cultural journalism, radio music

Publications and activities: Information in the SoleCRIS database

A selection of publications


Koko illan ilo? Kolmoskanava ja television kaupallistuminen Suomessa [Pleasures all night long? Channel Three and the marketization of television in Finland]. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2012. (Historiallisia Tutkimuksia 258; Kansallisen audiovisuaalisen arkiston julkaisuja.)

From Companions to Competitors. The Changing Broadcasting Markets and Television Programming in Finland. Tampere: University of Tampere, 199. (Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 652.)

Suomalainen prime-time. Tutkimus television uudesta kilpailutilanteesta sekä Yleisradion ja MTV:n parhaan katseluajan ohjelmarakenteesta vuosina 1970–1986 [The Finnish prime time: A study on the impact of competition on the prime-time programme structure of YLE and MTV on the peak viewing hours, 1970–1986]. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 1988. (Publications of the Research Unit for Contemporary Culture, 10.) [Co-authored with Tuomo Sauri.]

Uustelevision aika? Yleisradiotoiminnan edellytykset television rakennemuutoksessa [Age of neo-television? Public broadcasting in the structural transformation of television]. Helsinki: Hanki ja Jää, 1988.

Refereed articles in English:

Cultural Mediators Seduced by Mad Men: How Cultural Journalists Legitimized a Quality TV Series in the Nordic Region. Television and New Media, online first, 28 November, 2017, pp. 1–18. DOI: 10.1177/1527476417743574. [Co-authored with Nete Nørgaard Kristensen and Kristina Riegert.]

Public Service Hit Radio? Playlists and Product Differentiation in the Competition for Listeners. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, 15(2017):1, 27–45. [Co-authored with Arto Vilkko.]

What Is Cultural News Good For? Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish Cultural Journalism in Public Service Organisations. In: Cultural Journalism in the Nordic Countries / eds. Nete Nørgaard Kristensen & Kristina Riegert. Göteborg: Nordicom, 2017, 111–133. [Co-authored with Leif Ove Larsen, Kristina Riegert, Andreas Widholm and Silje Nygaard.]

From Culture Wars to Combat Games: The Differentiation and Development of Culture Departments in Finland. In: Cultural Journalism in the Nordic Countries / eds. Nete Nørgaard Kristensen & Kristina Riegert. Göteborg: Nordicom, 2017, 49–68. [Co-authored with Maarit Jaakkola and Raimo Salokangas.]

Liquid Modern Journalists with a Difference: The Changing Professional Ethos of Cultural Journalism. Journalism Practice, 9(2015):6, 810–828. [Co-authored with Maarit Jaakkola, Kari Koljonen and Jari Väliverronen.] – Published also in: Cultural Journalism and Cultural Critique in the Media / eds. Nete Nørgaard Christensen & Unni From. London: Routledge, 2017, 52–69.

Semi-Commercial or Semi-Public Service? Legitimacy and Regulation of Commercial Television in Finland. Comunicazioni Sociali, 35(2013):1, 44–57. [Co-authored with Heidi Keinonen.]

From Aesthetes to Reporters: The Paradigm Shift in Arts Journalism in Finland. Journalism, 13(2012):6, 783–801. [Co-authored with Maarit Jaakkola.]

Liberal Turn in Media Policy: The Case of Finland’s Digital Television. International Journal of Digital Television, 1(2010):2, 193–213.

Digitalizing Diversity: Public Service Strategies and Television Program Supply in Finland in 2002. International Journal on Media Management, 6(2004):3–4, 152–161. [Co-authored with Minna Aslama and Tuomo Sauri.]

Does Market-Entry Regulation Matter? Competition in Television Broadcasting and Programme Diversity in Finland, 1993–2002. Gazette, 66(2004):2, 113–132. [Co-authored with Minna Aslama and Tuomo Sauri.]

Diversity – An End in Itself? Developing a Multi-Measure Methodology of Television Programme Variety Studies. European Journal of Communication, 16(2001):2, 181–208.

Legitimations of Television Programme Policies: Patterns of Argumentation and Discursive Convergencies in a Multichannel Age. In: Rethinking the Media Audience: The New Agenda / ed. Pertti Alasuutari. London: Sage, 1996, 105–129.

The Formation of Television in Finland: A Case in Pragmatist Media Policy. In: Television in Scandinavia. History, Politics, Aesthetics / eds. Ib Bondebjerg & Francesco Bono. Luton: University of Luton Press, 1996, 91–111. (Acamedia Research Monograph 20).

A Toy for the Boys Only? Reconsidering the Gender Effects of Video Technolo­gy. European Journal of Communication, 11(1996):1, 5–32.

The Formation of Television in Finland: A Case in Pragmatist Media Policy. In: Nordic Television: History, Politics and Aesthetics / eds. Ib Bondebjerg & Francesco Bono. Copenhagen and Roma: Department of Film and Media Studies, University of Copenhagen ja Festival Nordico, 1994, pp. 79–101. (Sekvens yearbook.)

Competition and Content in the U.S. Video Market. Journal of Media Econ­omics, 7(1994):1, 29–49. [Co-authored with Martti Soramäki.]

Public Service Television and the Tendency towards Convergence: Trends in Prime-time Programme Structure in Finland, 1970–1992. Media, Culture & Society, 16(1994):1, 47–71. [Co-authored with Tuomo Sauri.]

Economic Concentration in the Videocassette Industry: A Cultural Comparison. Journal of Communication, 35(1985):3, 122–134. [Co-authored with Martti Soramäki.]

Disarmament, Strip-Tease in the Ideological. Current Research on Peace and Violence, 6(1983):4, ss. 209–232. [Co-authored with Kauko Pietilä and Leena Paldán.]

Other writings in English:

New Revisionism in Cultural Studies? Cultural Studies, 8(1994):2, pp. 165–169.

Post-Modern Theory and Nordic Media Research. Nordicom Review, 15(1994):1, pp. 27–33.


Maintained by:
Last update: 7.3.2018 13.36 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

FINEEC Audited HR Excellence in Research

Cooperation and Services
About Us

Research & Study

Career Services
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
Centre for International Education
IT services
Language Centre
Language Services
Registrar's Office
Sports Activities
» more

Teaching schedules
Curricula guides
Student's Desktop

Andor search
Renew your loans
UTA intranet
Office 365 webmail
Uta webmail
Electronic exam service
Examination results