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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

Annual Monitoring of News Media

The objects of the analysis  include subject matter of the main news, the reference groups of the people most featured, age and gender, the geographical perspective of items and the share of material on violence and sexuality. The news media selected for monitoring will include morning newspapers, evening papers, TV news stations, radio news stations and Internet pages of the news media.

Contacts: Pentti Raittila, pentti.raittila(at)

Researchers 2011-2012: 

Risto Suikkanen (risto.suikkanen(at) and Aino Holma (aino.holma(at)

Duration: 1.10.2007-31.12.2012

Partner: Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.

Publications (in Finnish):

Saloniemi Aira ja Suikkanen Risto: Suomalaisen uutismedian vuosiseuranta. Pilottitutkimus 2006.

Risto Suikkanen, Aira Saloniemi ja Aino Holma: Suomalaisen uutismedian vuosiseuranta 2008.
Tampereen yliopiston, tiedotusopin laitos, Julkaisuja B 51/ 2008.

Risto Suikkanen ja Hanna Syrjälä: Suomalaisen uutismedian vuosiseuranta 2010. Journalismin tutkimusyksikkö. Tampereen yliopiston tiedotusopin laitos, julkaisuja B 55/ 2010.

Risto Suikkanen, Aino Holma ja Pentti Raittila: MUUTTUMATON UUTINEN? Suomalaisen uutismedian vuosiseuranta 2007-2012, loppuraportti. Journalismin, viestinnän ja median tutkimuskeskus COMET, Tampereen yliopisto (2012).
Risto Suikkanen, Aino Holma and Pentti Raittila: All Quiet on the News Front?
Final Report of the Annual Finnish Media Monitoring Study 2007–2012. Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication – COMET.

Abstract of the final report

The final report of the Finnish news media monitoring study presents the study's main findings and methodological conclusions. The study analysed data compiled from Finnish newspaper front pages, main TV and radio news casts, and main online news through quantitative content analysis. The last data collection began at the beginning of October 2011 and ended at the end of March 2012. The study surveyed 18 different news media and analysed 14 days' worth of news from all media, 3003 articles in total. Newspapers made up 33% of the data, radio and TV news 22% and online news 45%. Similar follow-up studies were conducted in 2008 and 2010, bringing the total number of analysed articles to nearly 10,000. Key interests included topics in the news articles, the groups covered in the news, gender representations, and the number of news articles dealing with violence or sex.

In the Finnish media, the year 2012 was a year of politics: the number of political articles increased by approximately ten percentage points. Unlike in the previous studies, this year politics came up as the most popular topic. In 2008 and 2010, most articles discussed leisure (sports, entertainment or culture).

The groups represented in the news also changed accordingly. The role of politicians, international representatives and international organisations grew, whereas the role of athletes, private individuals and people working in the entertainment and cultural industry diminished. All in all, in 2012 journalism witnessed a shift from light to serious and moved from the micro level to the macro level. This shift was partially influenced by the 2011 and 2012 tumult in the Middle East, the Finnish presidential elections of 2012, and the financial crisis in Europe.

In the 2012 data, men acquired a more prominent role: the number of articles with a female protagonist dropped from a little over a quarter to slightly below than a quarter.

Just over 10% of the data included violence –a number that is consistent with the findings from previous years. Approximately 1% of the data involved sex. These articles were almost exclusively found in tabloids or their websites. The respective percentages are almost on par with those of previous years.

The relatively high rate of crime- and accident-related news characterised online news. This study found online journalism to be one-dimensional and its sources to be shadier than print media's – articles are first published online and then discussed in more detail in the "main media".

The key finding of this study was that despite the changes in appearance and format, the agenda set out in journalism remained steady. Regardless of the much discussed change, the core of journalism remained unchanged. By and large, during the observation period, Finnish news journalism retained its role in proper recounting world events. Even though this study focused on "front page news", researchers did not find unambiguous proof for the claims of news being dumbed down or becoming more entertaining, or of the increased appearance of violence or sex in the news.


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: 16.11.2012 18.28 Muokkaa

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