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

Covering Religion

Challenge of globalization in the Finnish newspapers

The aim of this research project is to increase awareness about the changes in the social and cultural role of religion and the possible outcomes of these changes in Finnish newspapers in the age of globalization. The research provides fresh knowledge about the coverage of religion in the Finnish newspapers and thus offers possibilities to develop the journalistic profession in this area.

The main question is how Finnish newspapers are covering the news that are related to religion(s). Have the policies of newspapers changed during this decade when religions have risen to the agenda of international politics in a new scale? How have the newspapers participated in public discussions about religions, especially concerning Christianity and Islam? What kind of practices have Finnish journalists and newspapers adopted in these kind of questions compared with other Nordic newspapers and British newspapers? Till now there has been a lack of research in this area in Finland although the events of 9/11 have changed the place of religion in the order of priority in news.

Methodologically research combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. The empirical data is collected from the newspaper archives of four Finnish newspapers (Helsingin Sanomat, Ilkka, Kaleva and Karjalainen). The main data consists of the newspaper articles published in these four newspapers from 2007 to 2012. In addition to this, some empirical data is collected from 1950 onwards. The aim of quantitative analysis is to compare how different newspapers approach to topics relating to religion. Furthermore, certain socially and culturally significant cases concerning the relationship between religion and the media are taken under closer qualitative analysis.

The results of the research project will be published in both international and Finnish academic journals. The project team will take part in international conferences in order to contribute to the ongoing scientific discussions on religion and media. The research project ends with a seminar where the results will be discussed with journalists and researchers.

This research project is carried out in collaboration with the University of Helsinki. The research team also works in co-opetation with Teemu Taira, Postdoctoral Researcher of Finnish Academy and his project Discourse on Religion and the Secular in the Finnish Media.

Project leaders: Katja Valaskivi and Johanna Sumiala
Researcher: Jenni Hokka
Research assistant: Suvi Laakso

The research project is funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.      

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: 29.10.2012 11.04 Muokkaa

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