This article features a comparative study of the making of business news based upon interviews (2005 to 2010) with senior business journalists in Finland and Sweden as well as communication managers at two global telecom companies, Nokia and Ericsson. The article shows the complex and fluid dynamics of social construction. There are spans when corporate power over editorial practices is strong and other periods when business reporters and their supervisors effectively exert their control over these news processes and the construction of meaning. Communicative outcomes are not determined or predictable; rather, they are influenced by a socially grounded understanding of what is “appropriate”. This case study shows that formal rules can be of limited value when assessing social processes.
In the Nordic countries, local and regional newspapers have functioned as keystone media. This article examines the emergence of hyperlocal initiatives as part of evolving local media ecosystems in Finland, analysing the extent and characteristics of hyperlocal media, and how they relate to wider changes in the Finnish media ecosystem. The data gathered on hyperlocal initiatives include a semi-structured survey by phone and online. The research conducted shows that the field is diverse. Rather than considering hyperlocal media in the context of typical publication forms, these newcomers can be best described according to a set of dimensions. Furthermore, the results indicate rather a strong desire to engage people in community building. The emergence of hyperlocal publications means adding a new layer to the Finnish media ecosystem. This development also provides the grounds for further study of the possible emergence of a new media era in Finland.
News automation is an emerging field within journalism, with the potential to transform newswork. Increasing access to data, combined with developing technology, will allow further inquiries into automated journalism. Producing news text using NLG (natural language generation) is currently largely undertaken in specific, predictable news domains, such as sports or finance. This interdisciplinary study investigates how elite media representatives from Finland, Europe and the US imagine the affordances of this emerging technology for their organization. Our analysis shows how the affordances of news automation are imagined as providing efficiency, increasing output and aiding in reallocating resources to pursue quality journalism. The affordances are, however, constrained by such factors as access to structured data, the quality of automation and a lack of relevant skills. In its current form, automated text generation is seen as providing only limited benefits to news organizations that are already imagining further possibilities of automation.