PAPER: Changes in cultural journalism in Finnish newspapers


Maarit Jaakkola defends her doctoral dissertation today 23th June 2015 at University of Tampere. Her dissertation is titled The Contested Autonomy of Arts and Journalism.

In her study, Jaakkola examines the changes in cultural journalism in newspapers in Finland between 1978 and 2008. She focuses on changes on professionalism in cultural journalism, analyzing the changes from the point of view of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of autonomy.

The study concludes that during the research period, the canon of traditional high culture has had to make room for popural culture. The average length of articles has become shorter – of all journalistic genres, reviews have been cut the most in length. Even more, the production of reviews has been outsourced more and more. Jaakkola claims that during the 30-year-period culture departments have lost their specialist autonomy.

The study comprises of five journal articles addressing the changes in arts and cultural journalism. All of the articles are introduced into a professionalist structures model following Pierre Bourdieu’s footsteps. The core of the empirical research consisted of data gathered of culture sections from five Finnish daily newspapers: Aamulehti, Helsingin Sanomat, Kaleva, Savon Sanomat and Turun Sanomat.

Read the rest of the dissertation here (in pdf).

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