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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

Journalist’s freedom (and obligation) of speech

The study examines the extent of journalists’ personal freedom of speech and their opportunities to influence their media’s political content or values, and whether journalists feel these opportunities for influence are narrowing or widening.

The research elucidates e.g. the manner by which journalists concretely communicate their personal views in different story formats, such as news stories and commentaries, blogs and discussion comments, and where they see the line between acceptable and unacceptable commenting is drawn. Do tensions arise at editorial offices when views diverge from the dominant policy, and how are these tensions worked out in the editorial hierarchy?

In the broadest sense, the study deals with the status social/civil involvement holds in the current professional thinking of Finnish journalists. Is social involvement tied to the media organization or individual journalists’ job description? These questions relate to the debate on the extent to which journalists’ personal opinions affect the values of media contents and should the media openly discuss how different societal views diverge within editorial offices.

The research data comprises theme interviews and structured questionnaires given at several editorial offices around Finland. The study begins in 2011 and will be completed in 2014.


Koljonen, Kari: Väliportaan päälliköiden muuttuneet työt ja roolit. Monen kanavan tehotoimitus - miten käy journalismin? -seminaari. Aikakauslehtien päätoimittajat ry, Helsinki 8.5.2014.

Kunelius, Risto & Reunanen, Esa: Transparency Discourse and Mediatized Governance. Workshop of the ECREA TWG on Mediatization. Rethinking the mediatization of politics: Politics and policy, government and governmentality, citizenship and activism. London School of Economics and Political Science, 25th - 26th April 2014.

Koljonen, Kari: Vapauden kaiho toimituksissa ja tutkimuksessa. Mediatutkimuksen päivät, Vaasa 4.-5. 4. 2014

Reunanen, Esa: Tulkinta ja mielipiteellisyys toimittajan työssä (Interpretation and opinion in journalist's work). Work Research Conference, Tampere 8.11.2013.

Reunanen, Esa: Toimittaja objektiivisuuden ja subjektiivisuuden välissä (A journalist between objectivity and subjectivity). Thirty years of journalistic freedom -seminar,  University of Tampere. Tampere 23.5.2013.

Reunanen, Esa: Toimittajan sananvapaus ja -pakko (Journalis's freedom - and obligation - of speech). FINCOM2012, Jyväskylä 31.8.2012.


Reunanen, Esa & Koljonen, Kari (2014) Toimittajan sanansijat (Journalists have their say). Tampere: Tampere University Press.

Luostarinen, Heikki (2014) Irti Venäjästä, kapitalisteista ja pomoista (Getting rid of Russia, capitalists and bosses). In Luostarinen, Heikki & Raittila, Pentti (eds.) Journalistin vapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino, 15- 45.

Reunanen, Esa (2014) Toimittajan poliittinen identiteetti. Aktiivinen aatteenkannattaja, passiivinen puhelinpylväs vai jotain ihan muuta? (Journalist's political identity). In Luostarinen, Heikki & Raittila, Pentti (eds.) Journalistin vapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino, 46-73.


Contact persons

Heikki Luostarinen, tel. +358 50 371 4718

Esa Reunanen, tel. +358 50 318 5943

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: 11.8.2015 17.14 Muokkaa

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