Jaana Hujanen, Katja Lehtisaari, Carl-Gustav Lindén and Mikko Grönlund
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.
Exploring imagined affordances of automation in news journalism
Stefanie Sirén-Heikel, Leo Leppänen, Carl-Gustav Lindén and Asta Bäck
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.