PAPER: Finnish newspapers as opinion builders


A new PhD dissertation from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, has been published online.

The dissertation is written by Arja Lerssi-Lahdenvesi and is titled Always taking sides on the editorial pages, or …? The role of Finnish nonpartisan newspapers as social opinion builders.

In her research Lerssi-Lahdenvesi assesses how eight Finnish newspapers have acted as opinion builders. She focuses on the editorial pages during the parliamentary elections of 2011 in Finland. The dissertation uses two research methods: quantitative content analysis supported by the qualitative approach.

Lerssi-Lahdenvesi suggests the opinion building focused more on single issues and offered no new wider
views to public debate, little options and alternatives for Finland’s future.

However, the papers assumed a role of acting as watchdogs monitoring the continuity of Finnish foreign policy: commitment to the EU, for example, was apparent on the editorials.

Lerssi-Lahdenvesi also suggests three influential guest writer profiles: the institutionals, the experts and the multivoices.

The dissertation can be found online here (abstract in English).

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