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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: research: comet - tampere research centre for journalism, media and communication: projects: completed projects:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre COMET
COMET - Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication

Immigration and Media

Immigration and Media (2007-2009) is a research project on the use of media by immigrants living in Finland and the interpretations they and the Finnish mainstream population make of media contents dealing with immigration. The project co-operates with six European research institutions in the field, and is financed by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

Compared to other European countries Finland has few immigrants. It was only the beginning of the 80s that more people have immigrated to Finland than emigrated. In 2006, the immigrant population accounted for 2.3 % of the total Finnish population but the number of immigrants is now growing rapidly. The media play a special role in enlightening the public about diversity and multiculturalism and in helping new migrant audiences to integrate into Finnish society. The project aims to increase knowledge about the use of media by different immigrant groups and to promote multiculturalism in journalism education.

Contacts: Mari Maasilta or Heikki Luostarinen,  

Research questions 

Media use of immigrants in Finland. How important are “old” media, such as television, radio and newspapers, and “new” media, such as Internet, satellite and cable television in the everyday lives of immigrants? Which are the most important information and entertainment channels for immigrants in Finland? What is the role of media in advancing social and political participation of immigrants in Finland? How do media participate in constructing transnational identity and dealing with questions of belonging and othering? 

The report of this part of the project was published October 29, 2008. The report (in Finnish) is available also in Internet

Interpretations of media content by the Finnish mainstream population compared to those by immigrants in Finland. How do media interpretations by people of different origin, age, sex etc. differ from each other? What kind of ethnic hierarchies do people create in their interpretations? Are there differences in the interpretation of different media genres between immigrants and main Finnish population? How do media succeed in creating a feeling of belonging and participating both for different immigrant groups and for the Finnish mainstream population?

Differences and similarities in the field of media and migration studies in six European countries. What are the main results of the research on media and immigration in five other European countries compared to those in Finland? What kind of development projects have been realized in the field of media and migration in other countries and what are their results like compared to those in Finland. What are the special characteristics of Finnish media contents dealing with immigration compared to international media?

Methods and timetable

The media use of immigrants will be studied with the help of structured questionnaires with 400 people in two major cities, Tampere and Helsinki. The results of the structured questionnaires will be reported at the end of October 2008. In that connection there will be a national workshop for the main actors in the field of media and immigration (journalists and media organizations, immigrant and public organizations, media educators).

Interpretations of Finnish television programs will be studied with focus groups of 4-6 people consisting either of immigrants, immigrants and mainstream population, or mainstream population from Helsinki and Tampere. The groups will be shown excerpts of Finnish television programs dealing with migration and multiculturalism. The focus group interviews will be made in Tampere in spring 2008 and in Helsinki in autumn 2008.

The final report of results of the whole project will be published in summer 2009.

International co-operation

The results of the Finnish study will be compared and discussed in the context of the recent media and migration projects of six European research institutions.


Garjan Sterk, Mira Media
On Line/More Colour in the Media

Great Britain

Myria Georgiou, University of Leeds
Media & Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union, European Commission, Framework 7 Programme (2007-2010)
International Networks Collaboration Mediated Networks: Engendering Diaspora and Global Citizenship; funded by the University of Leeds (2007-2008)
SENT: The Network of European Studies, A 70-university network funded by the European Commission (2007-2010)


Cilia Willem, University of Barcelona

Nicolás Lorité


Ingegerd Rydin, University of Halmstad


Claire Cossée, University of Poitiers 

Seminars and workshops

International Workshop on Good European Practices, Tampere, 19.-20.3.2009

National workshop for Finnish actors in the field of media and immigration was organized 29.10.2009 in Helsinki. Some twenty specialists in the field were invited to discuss the results and conclusions of the first part of the project.


Mari Maasilta 


Post address: Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
Visiting address: Kalevantie 4, E-Wing,(3 rd floor)
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Last update: 11.10.2011 9.01 Muokkaa

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