Original site of the course material

Writers:
Marko Ala-Fossi
Minna Aslama
Yonca Ermutlu
Juha Herkman
Ulla-Maija Kivikuru
Kaarle Nordenstreng
Pertti Näränen
Tuomo Sauri

1. Finnish Media and Communication System

This course on Finnish media and communication system introduces the student to the history, development and the present of Finnish mass media.

The course starts with a general introduction of the media landscape in Finland and a discussion on what is communication and what are the media. Today, the study of communication is very diverse, varying from speech communication to intercultural communication, therefore it is necessary to discuss upon the basic terminology to be able to have an understanding of common grounds.

Print media is historically the oldest and still the strongest media in Finland. Finns are among the most reading people of the world after Japan and Norway. The place of print media among others is very strong by having approximately 70 per cent of the turnover according to statistics for the mass media.

Radio was introduced in Finland already in early 1920s. The amateur radio stations of the early stages opened the way to Yleisradio (YLE = Finnish Broadcasting Company), which started its first radio broadcasting in 1926. Today there are four national public service radio channels in Finnish (YLE Radio 1, Yle X, YLE Radio Suomi, Yle Q), and two in Swedish (Radio Vega, Radio Extrem); a radio network in the Sámi language, three digital radio channels; nearly 70 commercial radio stations, of which one nation-wide channel owned by Alma Media Group (Radio Nova).

TV came to Finland after the Second World War in mid 1950s. Since from the beginning there had been a mixed system of public and private broadcasting in Finland, where the Mainos-TV (commercial TV: MTV3 of today) had broadcasted in blocks within the two Yleisradio channels. At present, there are four national TV channels, of which two public service and two commercial channels. Since 2000 the digitalization of TV has started and it is expected that by the end of year 2006 all TV broadcasting would be digital in Finland.

From the 1990s onwards, with the rapid developments in communications technologies it has been possible to combine different types of media into one production. The media companies have also started doing business in several media arenas which created concentration of media under big, single conglomerates. The fifth chapter of the course on media convergence gives an overview of the changes within the media scenery of Finland starting from 1950s.

The final chapter on Information Society concentrates on the changes that the new communication technologies have brought forward.

Further readings on a brief introduction to Finnish Mass Media can be found from the following internet pages: Finnish Mass Media: High Availability, Advanced Technology written by Dr Jyrki Jyrkiäinen, The Finnish Media Landscape written by Dr Jyrki Jyrkiäinen and Finnish Mass Media (Selection) written by Dr Jyrki Jyrkiäinen (available for course participants).

2. Media in finland

The Three Big

The media sector in Finland is a medium-size branch of industry with a turnover of 4.4 billion euros in 1998. There are three big players in the mass media market of which, Sanoma is the biggest. Alma Media follows as the second and YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company), the third.

The trend of concentration in media business has given the biggest market share to Sanoma since Sanoma Corporation merged with the book publishing company WSOY in 1999. Today Sanoma is also an international player by publishing over 300 titles (magazines) in 20 countries with a multitude of websites. Its total net sales 52 percent came form outside Finland in 2008 while the same share was only 8 percent in 1999. Sanoma has expanded into Eastern and Central Europe and Russia. In Finland, Sanoma owns, among others, the biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, the free paper Metro, and the business paper Talousssanomat that in 2008 ceased its print version and now comes out as an internet version only. Sanoma publishes 40 magazines in Finland, owns the TV station Nelonen (Channel 4) with its pay TV channels, runs Finland's largest cable operator Welho, and is a book publisher, too. More information about Sanoma is available from the company's web pages at http://www.sanoma.fi

Alma Media was born in 1998 and was then the merger of the commercial TV channel MTV3 Finland and the major newspaper publisher Aamulehti Group. In 2005 the Swedish Bonnier & Bonnier AB and Proventus Industrier AB acquired MTV Oy (through the company Nordic Broadcasting Oy). Alma Media publishes the second big daily newspaper Aamulehti, and the second big tabloid Iltalehti. More information about Alma Media is available from the company's web pages.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, is the national public service broadcasting company with two TV channels in Finnish (YLE1 and YLE2), one digital Swedish language TV channel (FST) and a further digital channels in Finnish (YLE Teema. YLE operates an internet TV and radio archive and thirteen radio channels and services complemented by 25 regional radio programmes. More information about YLE.

Graphic media still reign the market by a clear marginal although the share of electronic media of total mass media market is growing steadily.

Further reading

Statistics Finland, Mass media statistics. Newspapers and Periodicals

Definitions of communication and media


According to the book "Key Concepts in Communication and Cultural Studies" . (Second edition, Reprint 2000). By Tim O'Sullivan, John Hartley, Danny Saunders, Martin Montgomery and John Fiske. London and New York: Routledge.

communication:

There are broadly two types of definition of communication. The first sees it as a process by which A sends a message to B upon whom it has an effect.

The second sees it as a negotiation and exchange of meaning, in which messages, people-in-cultures and 'reality' interact so as to enable meaning to be produced or understanding to occur.

The aim of the first is to identify the stages through which communication passes so that each one may be properly studied and its role in and effect upon the whole process clearly identified. Lasswell (1948) does this with his model 'Who says what in which channel to whom with what effect?' Within this approach there are naturally areas of disagreement: one such concerns the importance of the intention to communicate. MacKay (1972) argues that a geologist can extract a lot of information from a rock, but that the rock does not communicate because it has no intention, nor power of choice. Other writers include all the symbolic means by which one person (or other organism) affects another.

The second approach is structuralist in that it focuses on the relationship between constituent elements necessary for meaning to occur. These elements fall into three main groups:

  1. the text, its signs and codes;
  2. the people who 'read' the text, the cultural and social experience that has formed both them and the signs/codes they use; and
  3. the awareness of an 'external reality' to which both text and people refer. (By 'external reality' we mean that to which a text refers that is other than itself.)
Some authorities such as Saussure emphasize the 'text' group (signs/codes/language) others such as Barthes focus on the text/ culture interaction, while those with a more philosophic approach such as Pierce or Ogden and Richards, pay attention to the 'external reality' which they call object or referent. the way in which meaning is produced from the interaction between these three groups is the main study of semiotics.

Medium / media:

Broadly, an intermediate agency that enables communication to take place. More specifically, a technological development that extends the channels, range or speed of communication. In the broad sense speech, writing, gestures, facial expressions, dress, acting and dancing can all be seen as media of communication.

Each medium is capable of transmitting codes along a channel or channels. This use of the term is decreasing, and it is increasingly being confined to the technical media, particularly the mass media. Sometimes it is used to refer to the means of communication (for example, in 'print or broadcast media'), but often it refers to the technical forms by which these means are actualized (for example, radio, television, newspapers, books, photographs, films, and records). McLuhan used the word in this sense in his famous dictum "The Medium is the Message". By this he meant that the personal and social consequences of a new technological medium in itself are more significant than the uses to which it is actually put: the existence of television is more significant than the content of its programmes.

3. Newspaper

In terms of print media, for only a small population of 5.2 million, there are 208 newspaper titles in Finland out of which 54 are daily newspapers (as of 2001). Although there are many titles, the newspapers are mainly concentrated under big companies such as SanomaWSOY (25% market share), Alma Media (18% market share), Keskisuomalainen (8,5% market share), which dominates half of the market share out of 24 companies.

Although the main focus in this lecture is going to be on newspapers, the print media is not consisted of only newspapers. According to Statistics Finland the number of consumer magazines, professional/organization/trade magazines, customer magazines and opinion journals published in Finland adds up to some 2800 titles. If the periodicals that are published at least twice a year would be added to that number the total number would be around 5000. The magazines, for some reason, were not affected badly at the economic recession of 1990's where the newspaper circulation went down about 20% and some medium-sized newspapers closed down. Finns are avid readers of newspapers and magazines, 82% of the adult population reads a magazine everyday and the average time used on reading a magazine is about 42 minutes a day. The trend of concentration of business under big companies has taken place also for the magazines. There are three big players in the market; Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet, Helsinki Media Company and A-Lehdet (Lehti in Finnish means both paper and magazine). These three publishers dominate by publishing 80% of the magazines in the market.

Book publishing is the third area of print media. "Statistics on the number of book titles relative to population show that Finland has retained its position among the leading countries in the world. Other high-ranking countries apart from Finland include Iceland, Denmark, Holland and Switzerland. In 1999 a total of around 13000 book titles were published in Finland, twice as many as in the early 1980s. At least in the light of this evidence it seems that the growth of electronic communication has had no adverse impact on book publishing." (2002, Statistics Finland, pp 76-77).

Starting with a short history of Finland from the Swedish reign up till today, the following article by Raimo Salokangas tells about the birth, development and present state of the Finnish newspaper structure in detail.

From Political to National, Regional and Local. The Newspaper Structure in Finland By Raimo Salokangas. Article published in Nordicom Review, Number 1,1999
http://www.nordicom.gu.se/common/publ_pdf/31_salokangas.pdf

Further reading

The following article by Jaana Hujanen is about the media habits of Young people, aged 13 – 19, in Finland. Based on her research data she discusses how online newspapers are changing the ways young people use newspaper journalism.

From Consuming Printed News to Making Online Journalism? Young Finns’ Newspaper Reading at the Millennium By Jaana Hujanen. Article published in Nordicom Review, Number 2, 2001
http://www.nordicom.gu.se/common/publ_pdf/34_Hujanen.pdf

4. Radio

After a brief introduction to the radio scene in Finland by Marko Ala-Fossi, this chapter is going to concentrate on a theoretical discussion by the same author, about effects of deregulation on the radio industry by comparing the development of programming and formatting strategies in Finnish commercial radio with simultaneous developments in American radio.

Finnish radio in a nutshell
by Marko Ala-Fossi (September 2009)

Radio broadcasting in Finland got its start in 1920’s when radio amateurs and different private organizations began their experiments with the new media. Early pioneers tried already both local and advertising-supported broadcasting, but without real success. National radio service for culture and education was of great importance for a country that had got it its independence only nine years earlier when national public service broadcaster, Yleisradio (YLE) was established in 1926. It was a broad-based private corporation which was financed by public license-fee income and advertising in radio was forbidden. In 1934 the Finnish government became the biggest stockholder of YLE and it was institutionalized as a de facto public service radio monopoly. Although it was challenged in the early 1960’s by the commercial pirate stations which broadcast from ships on the Baltic Sea, and despite the constant interest that the first commercial TV- broadcaster Mainos-TV had in commercial radio, it was not until 1985 when first new experimental licenses for private local radio broadcasting were granted in Finland. Unlike in other Scandinavian countries, in Finland advertising was allowed to these new local radios from the very beginning and actually only very few local private stations decided not to finance their operations with advertising.

In the new competition, YLE radio was first losing audience - especially young audience for the local independents. This changed after June 1990 when YLE profiled its three national Finnish-language FM channels to target different audience groups. Traditional public service programming and classical music remained the specialty of Ylen Ykkönen . A new youth and pop culture channel with self-ironical name Radiomafia had remarkable early success, but it later suffered steep decline in popularity. Regional programs, news and current affairs programming, as well as sports, were put together in Radio Suomi, which is a national network of 20 regional stations. Since then, it has also been consistently the most successful radio channel in Finland. In 2000, it enjoyed a 38 percent daily reach among all Finns over 9 years old, and a 44 percent share of all radio listening. These three YLE radio channels together reached then 60 percent of the Finnish population every day.

Commercial radio grows, conglomerates and becomes more internationally owned

The new local commercial stations in Finland were at first expected to promote local culture and increase the freedom of speech, but instead they started to attract audiences with music and entertaining programs, offering something for everyone. After the peak year of 1990, they lost a considerable share of their audience to the reformed YLE channels at the same time when the increasing number of stations and economic recession intensified competition. In 1994, international companies entered the Finnish market by acquiring the two first specialized stations. After the mid-1990’s private stations offered more targeted programming, mostly to young and young adult audiences with music-based formats. The first national commercial channel Radio Nova in 1997 had been licensed as a news channel, but it was formatted Soft AC to these same demographics and that hit the local stations. In 1999, networking was allowed to local stations and also seven semi-national format networks were licensed. In 2001, even more format networks were licensed and most of the already existing radio networks were able to expand with new licenses. For the first time, the commercial operators were now especially interested in middle-aged and more mature audiences.

After the economically hard years of 1990s, the commercial radio industry in Finland has been steadily growing during the 2000s, but the development has been very polarized. For example in 2000, two thirds of all private stations were unprofitable at the same time, when large radio networks were very profitable. In 2001- 2003, radio advertising revenues reached new record numbers every year. In addition, Finnish commercial radios were now able to gather more listeners during one week than YLE radio channels, and also the daily reach of YLE channels dropped below 50 percent. The biggest commercial powerhouse was Radio Nova, the most popular commercial channel with 14 percent share of daily listening. In 2002, Radio Nova alone grabbed 35 percent of the total turnover of commercial radio in Finland, while SBS Finland reached 22 percent with its three networks.

Besides national Radio Nova and nine semi-national commercial networks, in fall 2006 there were 57 local radio licensees in Finland, but only few of them were still local by any means. In less than ten years, international networks had practically taken over the market. Radio Nova used to be the only larger commercial radio channel with some Finnish ownership, but in 2005 it was transferred totally in to Swedish ownership, when Bonnier and Proventus bought the whole Broadcasting -division (MTV3 and Radio Nova) of AlmaMedia. The Swedish ownership in Finnish radio expanded even further, when the parent company of Radio Nova bought semi-national Sävelradio. Later same year also Finnish big media business re-entered to radio market, when Sanoma unexpectedly bought Radio Helsinki, a local radio station from the Capital region.

New licensing decisions and new services are changing Finnish radio landscape

Even more unexpected was the division of the new five year (2007-2011) licenses for private and commercial radio in May 2006. First time ever in Finland, an incumbent radio broadcaster and an applicant with a good financial standing was left totally without operating license. The Ministry of Transport and Communications argued that the channel was aiming at the same target groups as the local stations and renewing its license would also had strengthened too much the market position of the owners of Radio Nova. At the same time Sanoma, which had applied for its own nationwide channel, was given altogether two new semi-national licenses. This made MTV3 to send an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court, but the original licensing decision by the Council of State was not overruled.

Besides the only nationwide commercial channel, Radio Nova, there was still room for nine semi-national private networks on the FM dial. Sanoma introduced a new soft music channel Radio Aalto and a new rock music channel Radio Rock. Another new company with a semi-national license was French-owned NRJ Finland, which network was previously built of locally licensed stations. Metroradio Finland, owned by Irish Communicorp, continued with a semi-national jazz network Groove FM and almost nationwide Finnish music network Radio SuomiPOP as well as classical music network Classic Radio. Also a Christian channel Radio Dei and a Russian-speaking Radio Sputnik were able to renew their licenses. SBS, a subcompany of German ProSiebenSat1 and the largest commercial radio operator in Scandinavia, renewed the license for its semi-national youth music network Kiss FM, which is currently known as The Voice. Altogether 47 local radio licenses were granted on this licensing round, including brand new local radio stations in Helsinki, Lahti, Joensuu, Kokkola, Oulu and Rovaniemi. The largest operator in Finnish local radio is still SBS, which runs through Pro Radio Oy altogether 10 stations: a chain of rock-oriented local stations in four of the biggest cities in Finland outside capital region and Finnish music Iskelmä-stations in six regions.

Less attention was given to the fact, that all the new licenses had more strict rules for program content. The amount of music was restricted, because depending on a station, the share of speech content should be 15 to 30 percent on daytime broadcasts. The license conditions were also designed to prevent the networking of local stations, because the transmission of each and every station should be clearly identified as its own, independent programming. This was supposed to be end of earlier business model of Finnish music network Iskelmä, which is composed of separate, locally licensed stations. However, SBS even expanded its Iskelmä network by making co-operation agreements with some new local stations in 2007 and 2008, and after making an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court, the network was able to continue broadcasting mostly identical programming through 17 local stations over two and half years.

2008 was again a record year for commercial radio in Finland, and the total sum of radio advertising revenues was over 50 million euro for the first time. Although about 70 percent of the turnover was now made by nationwide or semi-national networks, Metroradio Finland was no longer making any profit from Classic Radio. So it decided to sell the classical music network to 4RadioOy in 2008, but the new owner was even less successful. About a year later, Classic Radio announced that it will discontinue FM broadcasting by the end of August 2009 and concentrate its on operations on the Internet, and became the first radio network in Finland ever to return its semi-national license. However, Ministry of Transport and Communications was already considering cancelling the license because of suspected malpractice.

The digitalization of radio - and especially commercial radio - has been slow in Finland. In the late 1990s commercial radio companies made numerous license applications for digital audio broadcasting (DAB), but no licenses were ever granted. By 2001, commercial operators had already lost their interest in DAB radio with practically non-existent audiences. This is why the first licenses for digital radio broadcasting in Finland were granted in 2003 for the digital TV (DVB-T) network. With a digital TV set you can listen to SBS Iskelmä as well as Iskelmä TV Harju & Pöntinen. Besides hosted music programming, these two stations broadcast also still pictures and text graphics on their DVB-T channels. Together with three more conventional YLE radio channels on digital TV, the weekly reach of DVB-T radio is only 6 percent, while the weekly reach of all broadcast radio in Finland is 95 percent.

The mobile TV network (DVB-H) launched in 2006 was originally expected to be the most interesting digital option for private and commercial radio, but its success has so far been very limited. After the initial enthusiasm had faded away, broadcasters faced problems not only with their business models but also with copyright organizations. So far only about 16 000 people have DVB-H capability in their mobile phones and only few channels are available, mostly simulcasting DVB-T or FM broadcasts. By fall of 2009, all commercial broadcasters in Finland except SBS have withdrawn from mobile TV and the future of “interactive, visually enhanced” digital radio on Finnish DVB-H seems to be rather bleak.

Internet delivery of private and commercial (as well as public service) radio in Finland was started already in the late 1990, but it remained quite modest for several years because of a long-standing disagreement over copyright payments for streaming of radio music. An agreement was finally reached in 2007, and the number of Finnish live web radio services has now grown from a handful to more than 100 different options. The weekly reach of simulcast internet radio in Finland is 9 percent – for some reason, the listening of internet only channels is not reported separately.

YLE reforms, rationalizes and changes its strategies

As a countermeasure for the growth of commercial radio, YLE made its second radio reform, “a strategic update” in January 2003 and re-positioned all three national analogue Finnish-language channels as well as one of the digital channels. Radio Aino, a channel for young adults and especially for women, was replaced with a new pop culture channel for young adults called YLEQ. Former youth and pop culture channel Radiomafia was also replaced with a new youth channel YLEX and most of the surviving pop culture - and special music programming were transferred to YLE Radio Suomi and to new YLEQ. YLE Radio Suomi was able to keep its name, but its music profile was revised towards younger audiences. Also the share of solid daytime network programming was reduced and national stories were now placed inside regional program flow. The successor of Ylen Ykkönen was YLE Radio 1, which carried now more national in-depth current affairs programs besides its traditional selection of culture and classical music.

The radio reform of 2003 raised a lot of public discussion, and it was not such a big success as the reform of 1990. Perhaps the most successful was the complete face lift and full reform of Radiomafia, because YLEX managed to attract much younger listeners than its predecessor. On the other hand, some of the program reforms of YLE Radio 1 had to be cancelled, YLEQ was reformed again already next year and moreover, the strategic update did not improve much the competitive position of YLE. Ever since, the daily reach of all YLE analogue radio channels together has remained slightly below 50 percent, and they have about 50 percent share of all radio listening. The most popular radio channel is still YLE Radio Suomi with 38 percent share on an average day.

After 2003, many of the changes in YLE radio have been motivated by the tightening financial situation of the company as well as by the interconnected changes in its operational strategy. During a harsh campaign of cost-cutting, the amount of regional units of the most popular radio channel in the country was not reduced, but the amount of the employees of YLE Radio Suomi was cut down by 10 percent by the end of 2005. YLEQ was unexpectedly shut down in September 2006. YLE external service and domestic broadcasting on the AM dial were both stopped in 2007- 2008.

Although even the independent YLE Radio Division ceased to exist in 2007 as a result of an organizational reform, the new strategy accepted in 2006 stated that YLE Radio Suomi, YLE Radio 1 and YLEX will continue as nationwide Finnish-speaking FM radio channels and the news and current affairs channel YLE Radio Peili, which is specialized on Finnish spoken word journalism, will be the fourth main channel. YLE Radio Peili became almost nationwide in 2008 and currently it is know as YLE Puhe. In addition, YLE operates two semi-national Swedish-language channels, youth channel YLE Radio Extrem in Southern and Western Finland, and news and current affairs channel YLE Radio Vega with five regional units, which has coverage also in Eastern Finland. In Northern Lapland YLE Radio has a Sámi-language service as well as a multi-language service YLE Mondo in the capital Helsinki region. YLE also continues its external radio and audio services, but only through satellite, mobile and Internet delivery.

In the fall of 2005, YLE shut down its DAB digital radio broadcasts in Southern Finland, which had been started seven years earlier. The sales of DAB receivers had been very modest and commercial radio operators in Finland were no longer interested in introducing their services on DAB. By that time, YLE first increased the number of its radio services on the digital television network to six, but currently it offers only three radio channels [YLE Puhe, Ylen Klassinen and YLE Mondo] on DVB-T – and two simulcast FM radio channels [YLE Radio 1 and YLEX] on the digital mobile TV- network (DVB-H).

YLE had started audio streaming on the internet with both simulcast and internet-only channels in the late 1990s, and it had already a wide selection of archived material and spoken word programs from YLE Radio available on the internet before 2007. However, only after reaching a new agreement over copyright fees of music streaming, it has been able to develop also extensive live internet radio services. On YLE Areena website, you can now listen to all YLE radio channels via internet– also all regional services in Finnish, Swedish and Sámi. In addition, you may for example download some of the over 200 different program titles, which are available as podcasts. Most of the new radio-like YLE audio services on the internet can also be used by mobile phone over a 3G network.

Common Trends in Radio

5. Current issues about tv in finland

Some of the current debates on Television in Finland today can be briefly described as: the process of shifting to digital TV, tabloidization, and versatile content in programming.

Finland has started digital broadcasting in August 2001, and it is expected that by the end of the year 2006 analogue programming shall finish. However, the audience seem to resist the idea by refusing to buy the necessary equipment (digi-boxes and digi-TV sets), that is necessary to view the digital programming. Pertti Näränen's article on digital TV will take you into these discussions over digital TV, which is a current issue not only in Finland but all around the world.

Tabloidization is a term derived from tabloid newspapers. Because of market forces some quality papers started to compete with tabloids to get more audiences. That, in return, caused a shift towards more popular journalism. In the meantime, the tabloids became quality tabloids as SanomaWSOY describes its tabloid paper Ilta Sanomat. The competition between commercial channels and public service channels over the audience brought new programme profiles and the claim that quality programmes are becoming more and more tabloid-like, not very serious and entertainment oriented. In her article, after introducing the reader briefly to the TV structure and its history in Finland, Minna Aslama is discussing whether tabloidization means "dumbing down" or "diversification".

As the European societies are recognized to be more and more multicultural, the issue of versatile programming has become problematic, as well. The research on programme versatility has mainly remained on counting the different titles of the programmes, rather than researching the diverse content of programmes. As the minority rights, immigrants', refugees' issues become more and more current issues in the European agenda, addressing small audience groups with diverse programming has also become an issue mainly for public service broadcasters.

Further reading

Sumiala-Seppänen, Johanna, 1999. "A Longstanding Experiment". The History of the Finnish Broadcasting Model. Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä. http://www.jyu.fi/viesti/verkkotuotanto/broadcasting/

Tabloidization of TV in Finland


Digital television: what, why and how?

by Pertti Näränen

The main perspectives to discuss media or any given medium are technology, economy, and culture, the latter including social and aesthetic consideration. In what follows, I discuss digital television from all these perspectives, but not clearly separating different perspectives under different subtitles because, in practise, the technological, economical and cultural features of digital television are intertwined and have a certain input to one another.

In this article I start with technical and economic promises of digital television (DTV), continue with a short history of DTV from the European perspective, then move on to an overview of competition situation and economic problems in the early development. Finally, I'll focus more precisely on the development in Finland. The acronyms and abbreviations used are explained in a separate appendix.

Digital promises

The term digital television does not principally refer to digital audiovisual production technology or digital television sets but rather to digital signal delivery of audiovisual programmes and services in various channels and platforms.

DTV promises different options and benefits to different stakeholders. In the European media policy context, the main motivation for using digital transmission technology is the fact that digital coding and compression use the frequency spectrum more efficiently than the analogue signal modulation technology. This is especially tempting for terrestrial broadcasting, because terrestrial radio wave spectrum has long been a scarce resource. Satellite transmission is not as bandwidth-constrained than terrestrial or cable broadcasting but enhanced picture quality and new commercial interactive services like game channels and online shopping channels are of more interest there.

More efficient use of the frequency spectrum provides two different benefits. Firstly, increased channel space can be used by broadcasters for new programmes, interactive services or improvements in technical quality of the picture and sound. Secondly, especially after analogue switch-off, some UHF frequencies below 1 GHz, currently reserved for television broadcasting, could be reallocated to be used for new mobile services – UMTS and other 'third generation' wireless services and digital television broadcasting (datacasting) for hand held mobile receivers (Serafini, 2001; Grünwald, 2001; Aaltonen 2003).

The first promise, new channel space for broadcasters, is already being fulfilled. The number of television channels in Europe has doubled every three years between 1985 and 2000. Digital transmission is still increasing the figures. There were 47 channels available in Europe in 1989 and more than 1500 by 2002, over 600 of which are digital. (Papathanassopoulos 2002, 31; BIPE Consulting 2002, 5.) However, while most of these new channels are bundled into different satellite platforms and pay-TV access, the choice offered to any given consumer is not as high as the pure figures may imply. Improvements in picture quality from digital transmissions are still only minimal, since spectrum-hungry High Definition television (HDTV) is not yet transmitted anywhere in Europe. The development of interactive services is slower than anticipated due to technical problems, different standards and slow consumer demand, but it still remains an essential part of European DTV policy (European Commission, 2003).

It is worth noting that increase in the number of channels also creates new problems. It increases the costs of broadcasting when more companies compete to acquire the most popular content as mainstream cinema and sport broadcasting rights to their channels. At the same time fragmentation of audiences decreases the advertising incomes per channel – at least in free-to-air programming. If each program has to be produced cheaper than before, it is bound to lead the European broadcasters to decrease their own quality programme production and increase the import of cheapest possible programmes.

Because American series have already creamed their vast domestic market before they are resold to Europe, they can be sold here much cheaper than the European programs. Thus more television in Europe is likely to mean more American content (Corcoran 1999, 84; Doyle 2002, 87-89; Papathanassopoulos 2002, 15-25). European trade deficit in TV rights with the USA is increasing: it was about 4.1 billion € in 2000 which was 17.5% more than a year before (European Commission 2002, 5). This economic dependency on US television content has its cultural implications too.

Fulfilment of the second promise, new frequencies for mobile industry, is questionable. The need of mobile industry for new frequencies is not as great as previously anticipated. At its May 2000 conference in Istanbul, the International Telecommunication Union reserved new frequencies for European third generation mobile networks in the 2520-2670 MHz band, which is technically more suitable for UMTS than the television frequencies of today. This new space will satisfy the spectrum needs of mobile operators for some years. It is also now evident that the UMTS spectrum requirements calculated in the late 1990s were grossly overestimated (BIPE Consulting 2002, 89). Thus we may say, that the overheated market expectations for the mobile industry increased the rush to introduce DTV.

All in all, DTV represents an opportunity to encourage competition and growth both in the broadcasting and mobile industry. In the European Union media policy this pro-competitive industrial orientation has long prevailed over cultural policy (Näränen 2003; cf. Liikanen 2003).

Terrestrial, cable and satellite – or broadband television

The main forms of television delivery have been terrestrial, satellite and cable television. The most traditional form is terrestrial free-to-air (FTA) broadcasting which can be received with regular rooftop antenna. Also terrestrial microwave distribution has been used e.g. in Ireland, Switzerland and in the USA is some remote communities, but it will remain marginal.

Cable delivery was originally developed to be used in communities where geographical formations make the terrestrial radio signal weak or vulnerable to changing weather conditions. Signal received with a communal antenna was delivered further by a local cable company.

In the early 70's the cable television started to develop into new directions when Home Box Office (HBO) company launched its cinema and sport channels in major US cities using first terrestrial microwave towers and then satellites to deliver programmes to redistribution via local cable networks. The paying customers received new mainstream films and other premium content against a monthly payment. This started the era of pay-TV. Ever since the major cable television corporations have lived in symbiosis with international satellite channels: satellite channels can be reached with private direct-to-home (DTH) satellite dishes but most viewers access them with local cable delivery.

On the other hand, there is a connection between cable and terrestrial television too, because public authorities have laid down so called 'must carry rules' to ensure that cable television companies deliver also the channels of terrestrial public service broadcasters (PSBs). In some countries, as in the UK, also the satellite operators deliver PSB channels while e.g. in Finland that is not the case.

1980's the pay-TV satellite channels invaded the Europe too. This was made possible not only by new technology but also by a new political trend called 'deregulation', which introduced neo-liberal media policy and ended the era of public service monopoly television in most western European states, as well as in New Zealand and Australia. This radically changed the structures of television economy and supported the globalisation of television culture (Collins 1994; Wieten et al 2000; Näränen 2003). There are many who see the advent of DTV representing the second wave of deregulation (see e.g. Papathanassopoulos 2002, 31).

The development of the European standards for digital television transmission started in September 1993 in a Digital Video Broadcasting Group, initiated by German public broadcasters and leading European television manufacturers. The group started with the notion that the European union led project to develop analogue wide screen HDTV will never bear the fruit and that the fast development in digital technology must be regarded as a new starting point (Bulkey 2003).

DVB group soon succeeded to create the European DTV standard called Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), first to the satellite platform (DVB-S) and by 1995 to terrestrial (DVB-T) and cable (DVB-C) broadcasting too. The USA and Japan created their own standards (ATSC and ISDB) approximately at the same time.

In addition to the traditional platforms, the television programmes have been delivered digitally in the Internet or in separate local networks. The Internet-telly can also be seen as a form of digital television, even if it still is not economically and technically feasible outside limited high speed networks in densely populated areas. Video datacasting to hand held devices (advanced mobile phones, PDA's) is also already in use in limited test areas but the economic models of the business are not ready yet. The future, with new digital signal compression standards and broadband home connections like ADSL, may develop the Internet-TV or mobile-TV as an option for global mass audiences too, but most probably not without new extensive fees for the consumers.

Satellite dominating – with multiple set-top box standards

Satellite has dominated the early DTV development all around the world, because of the wealthy companies, deregulated environment, and the fact that the satellite viewers have always been familiar with the set-top boxes and pay-TV.

Europe's first digital satellite (Astra 1E) was successfully placed into orbit in October 1995 by a commercial company controlled from Luxembourg. The pioneers in digital broadcasting were DStv (Telepiú) in Italy, Canal Satellite Numérique (Canal+) in France, and DF1 (Kirch Group) in Germany, soon followed by three other French players. Already by the end of 2001 the major European pay-TV satellite services were transmitting in digital format only. In late 2002 almost 20 % of the western European households already received digital television and over 70 % of them were connected to digital satellite.

Even if the pace of the development has been rapid in digital satellite broadcasting, there have been many problems along the way too. The major satellite operators wanted to create their own "middleware standards" (API and CA systems) needed for interactive services and pay-TV customer identification. Private standards embody the constant need for media oligopolies to control their audiences.

In practise this meant that even if broadcasters used same European digital transmission standard across Europe, audience access to those signals would be strictly limited to households equipped with the ‘right’ kind of set-top box receiver. Due to lack of common standard, STBs are not interoperable and interactive services must be tailored to suit different box models, which is expensive. (Papathanassopoulos 2002, 40-53; Näränen 2003.) No wonder the early DTV development has been marked by consumer confusion and a slow development of useful interactive applications.

Only the strongest media conglomerates seem to survive in the digital pay-TV business. Many pioneer companies in digital broadcasting have fled the arena in economic difficulties or bankruptcy. Approximately 150 European TV channels now operate at a loss (Forrester 2003). Rupert Murdoch's Sky Digital (BSkyS) in the UK is probably the single digital satellite operator in Europe making good profits – based on the way in which it has been able to monopolise its domestic pay-TV markets (Collins 2002).

Terrestrial broadcasting: case Finland

Terrestrial digital broadcasting started in the USA and UK November 1998, in Sweden April 1999, in Spain May 2000 and in Australia January 2001. Finland was sixth in a row in August 2001.

The UK is the only European state where terrestrial DTV is already well developed with approximately 2 million households, compared to 7 million digital satellite viewers. In many other European countries the development of digital terrestrial television is still in its infancy, but it is included in long term plans everywhere.

Finnish analogue television media consists of the public service channels TV1 and TV2 and the commercial channels MTV3 (acronym meaning 'Advertising television', not Music Television) and Nelonen (Channel Four). MTV3 is a corporation of Alma Media, which is partly owned by the major Swedish publishing house Bonnier. The fourth channel is owned by SanomaWSOY, the largest commercial media company in the Nordic countries. Nelonen has been operating at a loss since it started in 1997, but is getting more and more viewers. Almost half of the households in Finland have access to cable television and 11 per cent subscribe satellite services, but the use of pay-TV channels has remained exceptionally low maybe partly because of the language barrier.

The development of DTV started with governmental decisions in 1996. The government saw the digitisation of television as an important element in its 'information society' strategy and as a way to protect Finnish culture and domestic programme production from the invasion of foreign owned satellite broadcasters. Of the altogether 13 digital licences awarded in 1999 only two went to applicants other than the incumbent broadcasters, the rest were shared by Finnish Broadcasting Corporation YLE, Alma Media and Sanoma group (Brown 2003). Four channels were supposed to operate on pay-TV basis.

Finland was the first country in the world starting digital broadcasting using pan-European MHP standard for interactive applications instead of proprietary standards of satellite corporations. MHP is a good solution for the future because it is the only open, common standard capable for multiple advanced interactive services. MHP is now widely supported by the EU as a common standard but it has taken too long, however, for the Commission to formulate specific proposals to support the implementation of MHP in second generation STBs (European Commission 2003). Hardware manufacturers didn't move fast enough to provide MHP boxes to the small Finnish markets also because MHP requires more processor efficiency and Flash/RAM memory from the STB hardware than was hitherto needed (Flynn, 2001). Due to all this, by the time Finland started digital broadcasting, August 27th 2001, there were actually no digital receivers available on the market. The first boxes entered the stores in October and the MHP-boxes only a year later. This fact was lampooned in the press, leading to a damaged credibility of DTV in the eyes of the viewers.

Also the development of the content proved to be more difficult than anticipated. In 2002 it became clear that all the pay-TV channels refuse to start broadcasting, due to lacking pay-TV infrastructure and user interest. Two channels (youth channel SubTV and the Sports channel) transferred their operations also to the analogue cable delivery. The remaining three 'digital-only' channels were public service channels YLE 24, a news and current affairs service, YLE Teema, a channel for culture, education and science and FST-D, a full service channel for the Swedish-speaking minority (6 % of the Finnish population). In their first year YLE channels were mostly recycling their analogue content in the digital platform, but at least YLE was the only company who succeeded to keep its promises for the viewer.

However, the interest in digital television has been on rise since the late 2002, when the MHP boxes finally entered the market. There are now (Oct 2003) almost 130 000 cable and terrestial boxes, which means that appr. 6 % of the 2,2 million Finnish households can access national digital television. The amount of digital satellite boxes is estimated to 57 000. In 2004 new terrestrial channels are bound to enter the field (Canal+ pay-TV channel and a group of local city channels). YLE is just about to launch its new interactive digital teletext services and in MTV3 teletext pages new interactive commercial electronic services like banking, online shopping and interactive advertising are ready for launch.

The Future?

All things considered, the promise that DTV has best fulfilled so far has been the increase in the number of channels, first on satellite and then on cable and terrestrial platform. The quality of television has not improved similarly and the development of new services has been slow. The European Union has not succeeded well in protecting the consumer interest in the development, as the problems with common standard implementation illustrate. However, the concerns related to digital broadcasting – trade deficit, concentration of media ownership, poor economics and lack of interoperability – have increased since the late 1990's. The EU media policy now has seriously paid attention to these dilemmas too (European Commission 2003). This has summed up to at least slightly new European media policy approach in which 'pro-regulation' has in the turn of the century re-captured some ground from deregulation.

For the television viewers DTV promises greater variety of choice, but also new costs. Old television set is no more enough. New STB models will have more advanced features included, as card slots for pay-TV customer identification and online banking, a hard disk for programme recording and play back functions, Internet browser and broadband return channel instead of regular phone modem. Broadcasting to hand held devises may become possible. Most new services are not free anyhow.

New features in the receiving technology are also problematic for the broadcasters. With multiple kind of receivers it will be more and more difficult to build services that can be used in all the platforms and with all the receivers. Especially the traditional public service principle of "universal service" is challenged by technology.

There are no reasons to see digital television as a radically new networked media system. Even with a set top box and a return channel option DTV will for long remain just a television – an audiovisual mass medium, not very different from today. It will have some enhanced features and possibilities for alternative and secondary use, just like game consoles widened up the possibilities of television use in the past, but the ways in which television programmes are produced and viewed change relatively slowly.

Digital broadcasting is of little interest for those viewers, who are satisfied with the programmes and picture quality of analogue television and who have little money to invest in new receivers and new services. Is DTV only a rich man's television for the overdeveloped world? A serious ethical question is, how to justify this kind of abundance of media channels, services, applications and gadgets in a world where the majority of people are still lacking paper, pen and basic education.

More information in the Internet:

Finnish digital television forum www.digitv.fi/
European Digital Video Broadcasting Group www.dvb.org/
DVB-MHP Site www.mhp.org/
Digital Terrestrial Television Action Group www.digitag.org/
The Digital Television Group UK www.dtg.org.uk/
European Broadcasting Union www.ebu.ch
Federal Communications Commission (USA) www.fcc.gov/dtv
European Audiovisual Observatory www.obs.coe.int/
Freeview www.freeview.co.uk/
Broadbandbananas, ITV applications from the UK www.broadbandbananas.com/

References

Aaltonen, Janne (2003). Content Distribution Using Wireless Broadcast and Multicast Communication Networks. Tampere University of Technology Publications 430 (dissertation).
BIBE Consulting (2002). Digital Switchover in Broadcasting: A BIPE Consulting Study for the European Commission. Final Report, April 12, 2002. http://europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/telecoms/regulatory/studies/
documents/digital_switchover_in_broadcasting_executive_summary_120402_en.pdf (accessed 20.3.2003)
Brown, Allan (2003). Technology-driven Industry Restructure: The Case of Terrestial Television Broadcasting in Finland. Turku School of Economics and Business Administration. Series B: Research Reports, B1/2003.
Bulkey, Kate (2003). "The DVB's Professor Ulrich Reimers talks to Kate Bulkey". The Digital news (Magazine of the Digital Television Group UK), nro 32, August. 2003.
Collins, Richard (1994). Broadcasting and Audio-Visual Policy in the European Single Market. London: John Libbey.
Collins, Richard (2002). "2002 – Digital Television in the United Kingdom". Javnost -
The Public , vol. 9, nro 4, 2002, pp. 5-18.
Corcoran, Farrel (1999). "Towards Digital Television in Europe: A Race Or A Crawl?" Javnost - the public 6 (1999):3, p. 67-86.
Doyle, Gillian (2002). Understanding Media Economics, London, Sage.
European Commission (2002). COM(2002) 778 final, Fourth report from the
Commission on the application of directive 89/552/EEC ‘Television Without Frontiers’, Brussels.
European Commission (2003). Commission staff working document on barriers to widespread access to new services and applications of the Information Society through open platforms in digital television and third generation mobile communications, February, europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/telecoms/regulatory/
publiconsult/documents/211_29_en.pdf (accessed 17.03.03).
Flynn, Barry (2001). "STB Makers Concede MHP Premium". INSIDE Digitaltv (Published by PBI Media) Nov 19, 2001, p. 3.
Forrester, Chris (2003). "UK Digital: the state of play". The Digital news
(Magazine of the Digital Television Group UK), nro 32, August. 2003.
Grünwald, Andreas (2001). "Riding the US wave: spectrum auctions in the digital age". Telecommunications Policy, vol. 25, no. 10/11, 719-28.
Liikanen, Erkki (2003). "Is digital TV a priority for Europe?", European Parliament, February, speech/03/72, europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/liikanen/media/ speeches/text_en.htm (accessed 20.03.03).
Näränen, Pertti (2003). "The Opportunity Lost and Found? European Regulation
of Digital Television." In Greg Lowe and Taisto Hujanen (eds.), Broadcasting & Convergence: New Articulations of the Public Service Remit, Nordicom: Gothenburg, 2003, pp. 57-68 . (See www.nordicom.gu.se / Books in English.)
MOTC (2003). Suomalainen tv-tarjonta 2002 (Finnish television output 2002, Minna Aslama and Jaana Wallenius). Ministry of Transport and Communication, publication 40/2003. http://www.mintc.fi/www/sivut/dokumentit/julkaisu/ julkaisusarja/2003/a402003.pdf (accessed 20.9.2003)
Papathanassopoulos, Stylianos (2002). European television in the digital age: issues, dynamics and realities. St. Cambridge: Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers.
Serafini, Dom (2001). "For how long will broadcast be an over-the-air TV biz?", InterMedia, vol. 28, no. 4.
Wieten, Jan, Murdock, Graham & Dahlgren, Peter (eds.) (2000). Television Across Europe. A Comparative Introduction. London: Sage.

APPENDIX: The Acronyms and abbreviations used or relevant for the subject

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, a new technology that allows more data to
be sent over existing copper telephone lines.
API - Application Program Interface; In a set-top box (STB) API is a software which helps the programmers to write applications consistent with the operating environment. Together with CAS and EPG, API form the "middleware solutions" of interactive services. Only common API ensures interoperability of digital receivers so that one STB can receive programs and services from more than one platform.
ATSC - Advanced Television Systems Committee. Established the American standards
for digital television. Standard is using 8-VSB signal modulation, including digital high definition television (HDTV) but using the bandwidth less efficiently than the European DVB standard. See www.atsc.org
Broadband - Traditionally a network connection capable for delivering one digital video signal comparable to analogue VHS video quality. In prevailing MPEG-2 compression technology that means a connection with 2 Mbit/s undisturbed bandwidth, even if Internet Service Providers are sometimes inaccurately calling broadband even 256 kbit/s speeds.
CA - Conditional Access (System). A software which makes it possible for the pay-tv broadcaster to identify the paying customers.
COFDM - Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing; digital signal modultation capable to transmit many streams of digital data simultaneously, each occupying only a small portion of the total bandwidth.
Digital teletext - Enhanced digital version of the analogue text television service, including high definition pictures, multimedia and animation and clickable links. Used
for information services or advertising.
DTH - Direct To Home satellite television system, where household has a private satellite dish.
DTT - Digital Terrestrial Television which can be received with a basic rooftop antenna.
DTV - Digital television. Standard definition video quality uses 6 Mbit/s bandwidth in MPEG-2 coding.
DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting; European standard for digital television and adopted by e.g. Australia, New Zealand and India too. Different spesifications in terrestial (DVB-T), satellite (DVB-S) or cable (DVB-C) broadcasting. See www.dbv.org
DVR - Digital Video Recorder, see PVR.
EPG - Electronic Programme Guide. A channel selection and navigation software for digital television; used to find, select and record programs and services. EPG-functions can be connected to other interactive applications too, like additional information services, advertising or teleshopping.
FTA - Free to air television, terrestial television with no fees for the viewers except possibly an annual licence fee.
HDTV - High Definition TV. In digital TV using appr. 20 Mbit/s bandwidth with MPEG-2 coding.
idTV - integrated DTV where the STB and the monitor are attached
IRD - Integrated Receiver Decoder, see Set Top Box
ISDB - Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting. A Japanese DTV standard.
kbit/s - Kilobytes per second; an amount of thousand bytes (composed of 8 binary bits each) that a digital delivery line can transfer in one second.
MHP - Multimedia Home Platform. An DTV API standard for interactive services. See www.mhp.org
MPEG - Moving Pictures Expert Group; MPEG-2 is the prevailing standard for signal compression in digital broadcasting both in ATSC and DVB standards
PDA - Personal Digital Assistant, a handheld device that combines computing, phone/fax, Internet and networking features.
PSB - Public service broadcaster
PVR - Personal Video Recorder, same as Digital Video Recorder; a separate device for digital hard disk recording and storage of television programmes.
RAM - Random Access Memory. The place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor.
STB - Set Top Box; receives the digital broadcasting signal and translates it understandable for analogue TV set; basically a computer which includes microprocessor, RAM memory, operating system, Conditional Access System (CAS), memory card reader and sometimes even a modem and a hard drive recorder (PVR). Also know as IRD.
UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications Services. New mobile phone system using radio waves over 2 GHz frequency band to support fast data and multimedia services. See www.umts-forum.org/

6. Media convergence

The discussion on tabloidization leads us naturally to convergence, that is convergence of content. Different genres merging into each other and creating a new genre (including something old and something new). We have already discussed about infotainment, edutainment, we have mentioned docudrama, and wondered if advertainment exist or not.

Convergence means two (or more) things joining into each other, becoming similar, merging. When applied to media, convergence happens in three major ways, according to Graham Murdock (2000). Murdock identifies the following trends of convergence in today's media:

  • the convergence of cultural forms
  • the convergence of communications systems, and
  • the convergence of corporate ownership
The best example to explain the convergence of cultural forms is the websites in the internet, as well as media art. In internet you can witness the major forms of communication being used in one place; the sound, written text, moving images, archiving possibilities. The most important feature of the internet as a medium is of course giving the possibility to move freely through the materials on offer, which in turn allows the readers to map out their own personal routes. The reader (or the audience) is not at the mercy of following one medium at a time, in a preset sequence anymore.

Converging of communication systems is the basis, therefore the most important part of media convergence. It is the digital technology, the 1's and 0's that allow multimedia possibilities. In the future, with the development of technology, different solutions will be offered to audiences such as watching the news programme on your mobile phone or reading the editorial of the French paper Le Monde in English in a small screen at the another edge of the world. The digitalization brings many questions and problems with it. Each country has different technological standards developed by their own national technology programmes, each country has different strategies, different devices, most importantly not all can afford expensive technologies for their people. These technological developments in the first world, industrialized countries are said to be causing a digital divide in the world as the North and South, and of course East and West.

The third type of convergence is linked to the two previous ones listed here. As the technological developments make convergence of the content possible the media companies see it a very good opportunity for business to combine companies. The most famous example of the convergence of corporate ownership has happened in the beginning of the year 2000 when Time Warner and AOL merged.

In Finland as well, in late 1990s the newspaper giant Sanoma Oy and publisher WSOY have merged and became SanomaWSOY (1999) . This is the biggest media company in Finland right now with their own TV channel, cable service, publishing the main newspaper of the country, Helsingin Sanomat, also publishing books and numerous magazines.

This, following link is a detailed description of who owns what in the Finnish Media arena: Artto, Juhani/Medialinnakkeet, 2002. Material on ownership in the media industry. Finnish enterprises abroad. Foreign enterprises in Finland.

The technological convergence requires a lot of practical solutions for personalising the media. The IMU project, which is described in detail in the following article, is an attempt towards creating a media robot for people to enable them create their own news sources.

Source:

Murdock Graham, 2000. "Digital futures: the age of convergence" in Wieten, J., Murdock, G., Dahlgren, P. (eds). Television Across Europe, A Comparative Introduction. London: Sage

Media Ownership and Content: Corporatization of the Finnish Media in 1990's

by Juha Herkman (2004)

It has not been very popular to consider ownership's impacts on media content after the so called linguistic or discursive turn in the 1980s media research. Majority of media research has focused on textual and discourse analysis and qualitative methods ever since. Cultural studies have also provided an influential paradigm for recent media research emphasising "active audiences", processes of reception and "empowering" or "affective" meanings for media uses.

In the 1960s and 1970s political economy of media raised different kinds of questions about media ownership and the political and economical roles of the media. Political economy was a part of the larger wave of Marxian theorizations penetrating the whole range of social sciences, as well as humanities. According to the main argument of Marxian political economists the economic base constitutes the superstructure of media, i.e. media ownership is linked to societal power and this power block somehow governs the construction of media content in terms of its commercial and ideological interests (see Curran & al. 1982, 18, 25-26).

Vincent Mosco (1996, 82nn) separates two traditions in political economy of mass communication. The North American tradition was pioneered by Dallas Smythe and Herbert I. Schiller, whose studies in American and Canadian economic structures and their relation to mass media were celebrated as turning points of political economy of the media in the 1960s (see e.g. Smythe 1957; 1977; Schiller 1969; 1973). European tradition was mainly culminated in the writings of Peter Golding and Graham Murdock, who worked at the Centre for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester in the1970s (see e.g. Murdock & Golding 1974; Golding & Murdock 1979).

As a starting point, the political economy of media considers media as any other business branch. Especially American mass media has been organized according to commercial principles from the very beginning. As Douglas Gomery (1989, 43-44) puts it: "It is commonplace to assert that the production, distribution, and presentation of the mass media in America involve vast sums of money, and thus no research in mass communication can be complete unless questions of economic influence are addressed." It is notable that even though there has been a strong tradition of public service broadcasting (PSB) and nationally/politically financed press in many European countries, also European media is nowadays more and more often organized to follow the commercial model - and even if mass media production is not commercially financed it is yet economic activity costing huge amounts of money.

But political economists reminded that "in addition to producing and distributing commodities, however, the mass media also disseminate ideas about economic and political structures. It is this second and ideological dimension of mass media production which gives it its importance and centrality and which requires an approach in terms not only of economics but also of politics" (Murdock & Golding 1974, 206-207). So, it is important to understand that mass media is both similar to any other business, but it is also different in the sense that it plays a central role as an information, entertainment and ideological apparatus of any society. Mass media is part of cultural industries (see Golding & Murdock 1991, 15).

The central role of mass media in constructing and distributing culture has led some political economists to conclusions somehow reminding the cultural pessimism of the Frankfurt School intellectuals (Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse) in the 1940s and 1950s. The attitude is prominent, for example in Edward S. Herman's and Noam Chomsky's famous "propaganda model" introduced in their book Manufacturing Consent. The Political Economy of the Mass Media in 1988. According to Herman and Chomsky (1988, 2), "a propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power as its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public".

Herman and Chomsky claim that the mainstream American mass media works ideologically for economical and political power elite and therefore prevents dissent. It supports the power block through five news "filters": (1) concentrated ownership and profit orientation of the dominant mass media firms, (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media, (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by societal power block of government, business and "experts", (4) disciplining the media by "flak", and (5) "anticommunism" as a national religion and control mechanism (ibid., 2-31). The propaganda model has been quite popular among students of communication studies but it has also been extensively criticized in public and by scholars as well.

There are certainly several problems in Herman's and Chomsky's model and it appears oversimplified. It has, for example, been accused to evoke suspicions of some kind of a conspiracy (Entman 1990, 126). More concrete critique of the propaganda model claims that the model does not understand how media professionals, journalists, actually do their jobs (Hallin 1994). It has also been said that the model fails to explain the controversy of the media: it is too mechanical and functionalist to explain the multiple relations of society, economy and the media. According to Golding and Murdock (1991, 19), Herman and Chomsky "overlook the contradictions in the system. Owners, advertisers and key political personnel cannot always do so as they would wish".

Herman and Chomsky have responded to the critique in several writings, their main argument being that the critics have misunderstood the central point of the model: the model is not about journalists' real work or actual interaction between owners and the media but an analyse of the American mass media on a more structural and organizational level. "The propaganda model explains media behavior and performance in structural terms… [--] the rooting of corporate behavior and performance in structure is the core of modern industrial organization analysis" (Herman 2000, 105). But this explanation does not completely resolve all the problems of the model. It is problematic to insist that the model is true on a structural level if empirical evidence proves that media content is not so unified and untested as the model implies. It is also important to understand the media as a part of national, cultural and economic contexts. So, the model does not certainly fit everywhere and every time. For example, the fifth "filter" (anticommunism) has different meanings after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war period also in America.

Same kind of arguments have been central in more general critiques against political economy as well. 1970s political economy of media has often been seen as over theoretical and over essentialistic in its way to reduce the media into economic base and class structures (see Mosco 1996, 161). As Peter Dahlgren (1992, 3) puts it: "… the standpoint of neo-Marxian political economy [--] … raised such issues as those of ownership and its implications for journalism, though they often left unclear the precise nature of the link between ownership and daily journalistic practises". Political economy was not too much interested in audiences, reception and consuming the media either, and that is why textual and audience analysis powerfully challenged it in the 1980s. After the decline of the Soviet Union and other European communist societies in the beginning of the 1990s it has been clear that neo-Marxian theories have not been very trendy in the academic field. Actually, as Gene Costain and James F. Tracy (2001, 203-204) note, "in some circles the political economy of communication is dismissed as 'reductionist' or 'vulgar'".

Why do we need political economy of the media?

Political economy has not been institutionalised at academic forums but rather remained as a project of some individual scholars (see Mosco 1996). Political economy has not been in the very core of media research since 1970s - on the contrary, it has directed itself against the orthodox mainstream media research. In spite of its marginality in the field of media research, there however emerged some new interest in political economy of the media in early 1990s (Gandy 1992, 23). This interest has recently further increased, at least if we look at the several text books on political media economy published between 1995-2002 (e.g. Mosco 1996; Croteau & Hoynes 2001; Doyle 2002). There are some concrete reasons for this new political economy debates in media research. Firstly, concentration of media ownership changed global and national power relations of various media during the 1990s and early 2000s, especially because of the development of digital technology and deregulation policies of the media. Secondly, popular media research paradigms like textual analysis and cultural studies were criticized more often than before for ignoring these changes.

Concentration of media ownership is an old phenomenon. News agencies Havas (Paris), Wolff (Berlin) and Reuters (London) "divided the world up so that each could have its own colony of knowledge" as early as 1869 (Fiske 1993, 158). This was also criticized. For example Honoré de Balzac criticized Havas' monopoly on French wire service copy because "it led to a decline in information sources" (Mosco 1996, 175). Since that there has been almost continuous debates over media concentration and its influences. During 1990s concentration got a new kind of global scale and unseen forms which awaked political economists again (see Herman & McChesney 1997).

There has been an increasing trend toward cross-media ownership since the 1960s. In the 1990s this trend exploded into global level so that in 2001 there where only seven giant media conglomerates governing global media markets: AOL Time Warner, Viacom, Vivendi Universal, The Walt Disney Company, Bertelsmann, News Corporation and Sony Corporation. These corporations cover as well print media as broadcasting, music and cinema businesses (see Finnish Mass Media 2002, 341). So, concentration of ownership is often nowadays horizontal - it crosses different media - and international - conglomerates operate on global markets. The gigantic merger of America Online (AOL) and Time Warner in the beginning of 2000 was the most striking example of horizontal cross-media concentration. Anthony Smith (1991) has called these kinds of multinational and multi-industrial conglomerates as "behemoths".

Graham Murdock (1990, 2) sees, that "two processes have been particularly important in restructuring the corporate playing field: technological innovation and 'privatization'. The 'digital revolution' which allows voice, sound, text, data and images to be stored and transmitted using the same basic technologies opens up a range of possibilities for new kinds of activity and for novel forms of convergence and interplay with media sectors." So, the digital convergence has highlighted also ownership convergence because digitalisation has been one of the key projects for media companies seeking their ways to rationalize the production and distribution of media content; so to speak, to minimize their costs. For the very first time in media history digital technology makes the circulation of the same material from one medium to another really easy (see Murdock 2000).

The symbiosis of technological and economical convergence has been one of the main strategies of the 21st century's media companies. The target in converging technology and concentrating ownership is to increase synergy between corporation's different media branches. According to David Croteau and Willam Hoynes (2001, 116) "maximizing synergy [--] is taking advantage of multiple media holdings to develop or promote a single project with many different facets. [--] … media conglomerates seek to maximize the benefits they can obtain from owning many different media firms." Synergy means, therefore, efforts to seek multiple ways to cross-media co-operation in media production and marketing (ibid., 116-117). The most distinguishable way of cross-marketing is to advertise corporation's products in its different mediums. Nowadays cross-marketing, however, means more and more often indirect cross-promotion; i.e. interviews, stories, documents, news and product placements of company's media products in its multiple mediums (see Turow 1992). A good example is The Disney Company which has profited from cross-media synergy strategies for several decades (Wasko 2001, 36, 70-81, 103nn).

It is therefore obvious that the concentration of media ownership has impact on media content. As Ben Bagdikian (1983/1997) writes: "… in modern times actual conspiracy is not necessary. The absence of conspiracy, however, does not mean that large media corporations lack power or fail to use it in unified way. They have shared values. Those values are reflected in the emphasis of their news and popular culture." The most important value is "the market value" - or "the value of the market" - which undoubtedly frames all commercial media production. Commercial media is responsible for stockholders who put pressure for producing contents that are popular or, at least, please advertisers. "While claims of direct censorship can often be denied or possibly substantiated in some situations, it is still difficult to separate editorial policies from ownership connections, no matter who makes the decisions" (Wasko 2001, 83).

The most concrete ownership response to media are reorganizations of companies, dismissing workers, or financing certain branches and not the others. We have seen hundreds of these kinds of "organization reforms" in media companies during the 1990s and in the beginning of the 21st century. Many of these changes have been made in the name of convergence. Self-evidently there have been just a small number of people who've got the power to make these decisions. For example, Disney Company has branded itself as some kind of charity organization that benefits whole U.S. and represents "good American values" of "family", "childhood", "innocence", "happiness" and "fun". Every American is a potential Disney stockholder. But as Wasko (2001, 39) notes: "Of course, it is possible that many of the 588,000 shareholders benefit handsomely from their holdings in the Disney Company… [--] However, some of Disney's stockholders benefit more than others, and only a few have the potential for controlling the corporation's decision making process due to their ownership of large blocks of stocks."

In spite of increasing cross-media concentration and converging media production a vast majority of media research has been focused on analysing media texts and their uses. Concentration on textual and cultural analysis and forgetting the economic base of the media at the same time can be a real problem. As Golding and Murdock (1991, 17) remind us: "… cultural studies offer an analysis of the way the cultural industries work that has little or nothing to say about how they actually operate as industries, and how their economic organization impinges on the production and circulation of meaning." Precisely because of this Costain and Tracy (2001, 203) provoke in their introduction to the Journal of Communication Inquiry's special issue of political economy: "… wake up and get your noses out of the study of texts; [--] … get back to a whole way of life that includes the political economy of communication."

There has been some efforts to broke the gap between political economy and cultural studies of media. Especially Paul du Gay (1997) has introduced ideas of economy as part of cultural production and culture as part of economic activities. His task is to study "the circuit of culture" that includes analysis of cultural production, consumption and regulation as well as questions of representations and identities. The study of Sony Walkman's cultural circulation is an example of this kind of analysis in practise (du Gay & al. 1997). Keith Negus' studies on popular music industries are another example of cultural analysis that do not forget the economics of cultural production and consumption (e.g. Negus 1999). Some political economists have also been interested in combining cultural analysis to the political economy of media. For example, Janet Wasko's studies on Disney combine all kinds of analysis to produce an overall understanding of the Disney phenomenon (see Wasko 2001), and Vincent Mosco has developed a more unessentialistic model of political economy: Mosco (1996) considers society still as a systemic whole but in a way that takes into account mutual interaction between its economical, political, societal and cultural structures. It is really important not to reduce media neither into cultural nor into economical structures but to understand it as cultural industry which is framed by multiple economical and ideological interests that unquestionably have influences also on media content.

Corporatization of the Finnish Media in the 1990s

Until the 1980s Finnish media can be defined as a national project. This does not mean we did not have commercial media or international popular culture before that - on the contrary, there was a symbiosis of commercial and public service television from the very beginning of the television programming in late 1950s, and American and European film, television and popular music industries have had an enormous impact on Finnish media environment for several decades. But the mass media - mainly press, radio and television - was still a part of the national welfare society project.

In the 1980s new winds begun to blow and Finland opened itself to "free global markets". Sociologist Pertti Alasuutari (1996) has described this change as a transition from the "economy of state system" to "economy of competition". Since the 1980s the state has had much less power than before in many societal sectors. Lot of that power has shifted to the so called market forces. This has had many consequences to media and mass communication. In 1985 Yleisradio's public service radio monopoly was broken as commercial radio was introduced to Finnish listeners. In a context of television we used to have a duopoly of PSB (Yleisradio) and commercial television (Mainos-TV) which hired programme time from Yleisradio's channels. "This dual structure was changed in 1993 as MTV Finland got its own operating license as well as channel. This third national channel was called MTV3. The new third channel continued operating a transmission network that was originally launched in 1987 as a joint venture between YLE, MTV and already rapidly growing Nokia company." (Hujanen 2002, 14.)

It was also in the 1980s when the first satellite and cable channels came into Finland. At the same time many of those newspapers formerly financed by political parties and the state were privatised or closed down. New kind of commercially financed papers were introduced for the readers instead (e.g. City). The 1980s were, then, a period of great commercialisation of Finnish media, but it was not until the 1990s when this commercialisation changed radically the economic and political structures of the Finnish media field. "The Big Channel Reform" in 1993 made a commercial television channel (MTV3) first time a real competitor to PSB-system (Yleisradio). In 1997 this competition was complicated by launching the second commercial and at the same time fourth national television channel Nelonen (Channel Four). (See Hellman 1999; Hujanen 2002, 14-21.)

Launching Nelonen was the first step in corporatization of Finnish media. Nelonen was owned by Ruutunelonen that was a holding company of Sanoma Osakeyhtiö's Helsinki Media division. Sanoma Osakeyhtiö owns the largest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. It was, then, the first time a private media company owned both newspapers and a national television channel in Finland. In 1997 MTV3 and the second largest newspaper company in Finland, Aamulehti Oy, announced that they will merge into a company that will be named Alma Media. Alma Media started officially in 1998 with five divisions: Alpress publishes newspapers (e.g. Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Satakunnan kansa, Lapin kansa), Broadcasting takes care of commercial television and radio (e.g. MTV3, Subtv, Radio Nova), Business Information Group offers business services (e.g. Kauppalehti), Alma Media Interactive produces company's Internet- and online-services and Alprint runs a couple of printing houses. One of Alma Media's major stockholders is Swedish Bonnier, the largest media corporation in the Nordic Countries up to the year 2001. In proposition to this Alma Media owns remarkable percentage of the Swedish television channel TV4. In 2003 Alma Media Interactive and Alprint merged into Media Services division, cutting the total number of Alma Media divisions down to four. (http://www.almamedia.fi/business)

It was also in 1997 when Sanoma Osakeyhtiö, Helsinki Media and book publisher WSOY announced to merge into Sanoma-WSOY corporation. Sanoma-WSOY's first complete year of operation was 1999 and it also had five divisions: Sanoma Osakeyhtiö publishes newspapers (e.g. Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat) and produces business-services (e.g. Taloussanomat), WSOY publishes books, Sanoma Magazines publishes weekly and monthly magazines (e.g. Aku Ankka), SWelcom takes care of television broadcasting (e.g. Nelonen, HTV) and Internet-services and Rautakirja runs other businesses like R-kiosks, book stores (Suomalainen kirjakauppa), film distributing (Finnkino Oy) and even owns holdings of Pizza Hut and Motorests in Finland. Sanoma-WSOY has also bought many media companies abroad (e.g. Docendo Läromedel in Sweden and VNU in Netherlands). Since 2001 Sanoma-WSOY has been the largest media corporation in the Nordic Countries. (http://www.sanoma.com/about-us)

Table 1: Branches and holdings of Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media 1.1.2003

Branches and Holdings of Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media
Branches and Holdings of Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media


In 1997 Finnish commercial media ownership first time ever concentrated horizontally into two major corporations Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media. In 2001 these two corporations governed the majority of all commercial mass media in Finland: their net revenue was more than twice the net revenue of the ten next largest companies together, i.e. more than 2,2 billion euros (Sanoma-WSOY 1,73 billion euros and Alma Media 0,48 billion euros) (see Finnish Mass Media 2002, 94). Commercial competition turned Finnish mass media from a national project into marketized mode which reforms also the organization of Yleisradio: "Increased channel competition is linked with a major transformation process in public service television that can be described as a change from broadcasting as a national institution to a cultural industry" (Hujanen 2002, 24). The same can be said about the telecommunications sector, too. Thanks for deregulation policies of the European Union and Finnish government, the whole telecommunication sector is nowadays privatised - which was not the situation in the 1980s. Because of these changes in the Finnish media environment there may be a stronger need for analysis of political economy of the media than ever.

How does corporatization impact on media content?

As discussed above, commercialisation and corporatization of Finnish media have brought along great influences on organisational level: they have been the main reason for organisation reforms in Yleisradio and MTV3, for example. The impact on media content is less clear. Some critics have claimed that concentration of media ownership and corporatization have no effects on content at all, because journalists themselves make decisions almost without any control (e.g. Jakobson 1999: see also Hallin 1994). These critics emphasise the professionalism of journalists and the democratic role of the stock markets.

It is clear that journalists are not as self-dependent as sometimes is argued: there are control mechanisms and journalistic routines that frame their work (see e.g. Tuchman 1978; McQuail 1994). And as it was earlier proved by multiple research examples, it is also self-evident that ownership somehow shapes media content. This is so because of the fact that commercial media corporations are profit making companies responsible for their stockholders. There is a continuous pressure towards larger profits, and this pressure cannot leave media content as "no man's land" (see Murdock 1982, 135). The main target in horizontal concentration is to increase synergy between different mediums, and that is the case also with Sanoma-WSOY and Alma Media. The most explicit area of this kind of synergy is, of course, cross-advertising on corporation's mediums.

A good example is book advertising. Books are typical cultural products, the sales of which are easily counted by the number of books sold. Nowadays selling books depends quite heavily on the overall publicity books and authors get in popular media. According to international comparisons Finnish people still read a lot, both papers and books. There is also evidence that those who read much like to read different kinds of texts in different kinds of mediums. (See e.g. Drok 1998.) So, it is assumable that papers and magazines with lots of readers make good advertising channels for books.

Helsingin Sanomat is the largest newspaper in Finland with a circulation of 446 380 (in 2001). It has more than one million readers - 1,15 million readers in 2001, more than one fifth of the total population - and a status as a leading quality paper of the country. (Finnish Mass Media 2002, 274.) It is therefore understandable that Helsingin Sanomat is one of the major channels for book marketing in Finland. December is the most important month for book sales because of Christmas. In December 2002 two thirds (13/21) of full page book advertisements on Helsingin Sanomat was about Sanoma-WSOY's books (see figure 1.). All (seven) colour advertisements were about Sanoma-WSOY's books (WSOY, Docendo, EverScreen), other full page advertisements were black and white. It is a remarkable number of advertisements considering how expensive a full page is in Helsingin Sanomat: 12.2.2003 a full page (four colour) advertisement in Helsingin Sanomat cost from 21 000 euros to 31 000 euros depending on its location in the paper.

Figure 1: Book advertisements in Helsingin Sanomat

Book advertisements in Helsingin Sanomat
Book advertisements in Helsingin Sanomat


WSOY is the largest publishing house in Finland and uses therefore more money for marketing than other publishers. But, still, its proportion of Helsingin Sanomat's book advertising is larger than its market share compared to other publishers. Correlation between book advertising and corporation comes clear if we look at Aamulehti in December 2002 as well: Aamulehti published only one advertisement by a book publisher (WSOY) during the whole month. In Aamulehti books were advertised along department store and shopping mall ads. Alma Media does not publish books, so there is no direct link between a book publisher and a quality paper, although Alma Media's major stock holder Bonnier also owns a large share of the Finnish publisher Tammi.

Cross-advertising is common in all Alma Media and Sanoma-WSOY mediums. Nelonen advertises often its programmes in Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta-Sanomat, while MTV3 advertises often in Iltalehti and Radio Nova. In December 2002 Helsingin Sanomat published also advertisements of Sanoma Magazine, HTV, Ilta-Sanomat and Finnkino. It is therefore one of the most important channels for Sanoma-WSOY-advertising.

During the period Sept 1st 1996 - April 30th 2001 the popular evening papers (tabloids) Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat published mostly advertisements about television channels of same corporation. I checked every fifth paper from the period, and in those papers Iltalehti published 117 advertisements about MTV3 and only 12 advertisements about Nelonen. In turn Ilta-Sanomat published 33 advertisements about Nelonen and only 13 advertisements about MTV3. (See figure 2.) Even though Iltalehti advertised much more about television in general, correlation between ownership and advertising was clear. The same correlation can be seen in cross-advertising papers on television, television on radio and papers and television on movie theatres. Cross-advertising is a strategy for corporation synergy that benefits its every branch. Iltalehti's editor in chief Pauli Aalto-Setälä told March 13th 2003 that corporation discounts for advertisements are "remarkable". It is also easy to "exchange" advertisements between corporation's different mediums.

Figure 2: Television advertisements in popular papers 1.9.1996-30.1.2001

Television advertisements in popular papers
Television advertisements in popular papers


There has also been several cross-productions where ownership impacts rather on editorial content than on advertising. One of the earliest projects was Iltalehti's and MTV3's co-production Jyrki - a music video show on MTV3 and popular culture pages on Iltalehti. Jyrki was discontinued in 2000 but since that there has been other cross-productions between MTV3 and Iltalehti, for example Helmi, television programme (MTV3), radio programme (Radio Nova), Web- and text-television pages and pages on Iltalehti addressed especially to women.

Nowadays it is, however, common to use more subtle cross-promotion strategies (see Turow 1992, 694). Television channels MTV3 and Nelonen have introduced their own versions of reality television format Robinson (Sweden): Suuri Seikkailu (The Great Adventure, MTV3) and Saari (The Island, Nelonen). These reality shows were promoted quite explicitly on corporations' popular papers Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat in 2002 and 2003 by interviews, human interest stories and other puffers.

In my research on Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti came out that since launching Nelonen in 1997 these popular papers have quite differently constructed publicity for MTV3 and Nelonen. There were no significant differences in news and television critiques of Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti, but posters, front pages and entertainment or "glamour" pages quite obviously promoted corporation's own television channel at competitor's expense in 1997-2001. It is interesting that this promotion has become a part of Ilta-Sanomat's and Iltalehti's form. For example, Subtv and Nelonen are nowadays printed as equally valuated channels on Iltalehti's television pages, but on Ilta-Sanomat Subtv is not noticed as valuable as the four national channels YLE1, YLE2, MTV3 and Nelonen (see pictures 1 and 2). There is no need to mention that even though Nelonen is a national channel its target audience segment - urban young people - is much more similar with Subtv than, for example, with MTV3, that is usually considered as a general channel like YLE1 and YLE2.

Picture 1: TV schedule in Ilta-Sanomat Picture 2: TV schedule in Iltalehti

Iltasanomat
Iltasanomat

Iltalehti
Iltalehti


There has been increasing concern about cross-promotion's impact on editorial content, especially on news: "The rise of synergy-oriented conglomerates that carry both news and entertainment divisions under their umbrellas has raised the strong possibility that the long-standing tradition separating news from marketing and entertainment is in danger braking down" (Turow 1992, 702). If we do not take into account lively debates on the so called tabloidization (see Sparks & Tulloch 2000), there is not so much evidence about cross-promotion effects on news in Finnish media. But there can be found some exceptions, too.

News reporting the economic successes of these two media companies provide some evidence. For example, November 6th 2003 Aamulehti headlined the news about Alma Media's returns: "Regional newspapers increased the returns of Alma Media". Helsingin Sanomat headlined its story about the same issue: "MTV has lost some of its share of television advertising to Nelonen". Even though Alma Media's net revenue was slightly decreased, Aamulehti's story was positive in tone. A lot of energy was used to indicate success in corporation's certain divisions. In Helsingin Sanomat the tone was much more negative. The story was also shorter. Rock star Ozzy Osbourne's four wheeler accident in December 2003 makes another fine example. The accident got extensive coverage on Nelonen TV news while other channels didn't bother at all. The Nelonen news reminded even of The Osbournes show, running on the same channel. These are just two of many examples of how ownership might have an influence on editorial content.

The critical question, then, is: what does this kind of development do to the credibility and diversity of the media? So far situation in Finland has been quite decent. Actually there may be a more diversified media environment in Finland than ever, and there certainly still is quite a strong separation of "quality" news material from entertainment and promotion material. But market competition pushes mainstream media harder and harder towards commercialised practises, and there is no evidence that this competition would guarantee any diversity of media content. On the contrary, as Thomas Gibbons (1999, 168) writes: "There is an underlying assumption that, when competition (eventually) produces diversity of source, that will lead to diversity of content for the audience. Thus far, the evidence suggests that it is more likely that there will be a tendency to the mean, with competitors targeting the same, large audiences with similar products." Jan van Cuilenburg (2000, 75-76) proves by empirical examples from the Netherlands that "extremely competitive markets tend to homogeneity" because "fierce competition enchases competition on price" and "moderate competition in competition on content rather than on price". The competition of two Finnish popular papers Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti demonstrates this explicitly. They are so similar that the only remarkable difference between them might be their tendency to cross-promote Alma Media's and Sanoma-WSOY's productions.

References

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Bagdikian, Ben 1983/1997
The Media Monopoly. Beacon Press: Boston.

Costain, Gene & Tracy, James F. 2001
"Editors' Introduction". Journal of Communication Inquiry 25(2001):3, 203-207.

Croteau, David & Hoynes, William 2001
The Business of Media. Corporate Media and the Public Interest. Pine Forge Press: London.

Cuilenburg, Jan van 2000
"On Measuring Media Competition and Media Diversity: Concepts, Theories and Methods". In Picard, R. G. (ed.): Measuring Media Content, Quality, and Diversity. Approaches and Issues in Content Research. The Academy of Finland & Turku School of Economics and Business Administration: Helsinki & Turku, 51-84.

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Dahlgren, Peter 1992
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Media Ownership: the economics and politics of convergence and concentration in the UK and European Media. Sage: London.

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Local and Regional Journalism in Europe. EJTA: Bern.

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"The Political Economy Approach: A Critical Challenge". Journal of Media Economics Summer 1992, 23-42.

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Doing Cultural Studies. The Story of the Sony Walkman. Sage: London.

Gibbons, Thomas 1999
"Concentrations of Ownership and Control in a Converging Media Industry". In Marsden, C. T. & Verhulst, S. G. (eds.) Convergence in European Digital TV Regulation. Blackstone Press Ltd.: London, 155-173.

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"Ideology and the Mass Media: The Question of Determination". In Barrett, M. & al. (eds.): Ideology and Cultural Production. Croom Helm: London, 198-224.

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Hallin, Daniel 1994
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Hellman, Heikki 1999
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7. Literature and links

Literature:

Boyd-Barrett, Oliver (ed.); Rantanen, Terhi (ed.), 1998. The Globalization of News. London: Sage

The articles in the volume investigate the role of news agencies in the globalization and commodification of news. The writers analyse tensions both between the national and global levels of action and between commercialization and public service regulation.

Heikkilä, Heikki, 1999. How to make thin journalism strong? : The experiences of a public journalism project in Finland. Tampere: University of Tampere

Heinonen, Ari, 1999. Journalism in the age of the net : changing society, changing profession. Tampere, University of Tampere. Note: Doctoral dissertation.

The doctoral dissertation consist of Heinonen's research reports "Newspapers and the Internet", "Pushing and tailoring - analysing the content features of online publications from the perspective of journalism", "Visions on online journalism and journalists" and "The Internet in the newspaper reporter's work". The author aims to reach a better understanding of the changing nature of journalism in the Internet era when changes are occurring in society in relation to developments of communication technology.

Hellman, Heikki, 1999. From companions to competitors : the changing broadcasting markets and television programming in Finland. Tampere: University of Tampere. Note: Doctoral dissertation.

The study focuses on Finnish television and broadcasting markets in 1988-1996. The general purpose of the study is to examine: 1) how Finland's broadcasting market changed, 2) how the TV stations adapted to emerging competition, and 3) what was the impact of the "new order" of television broadcasting, essentially created by the 1993 channel reform, on programming.

Kivikuru, Ullamaija (ed.); Valtonen, Sanna (ed.); Alt‚s, Elvira (ed.); e.a, 1999. Images of women in the media: report on existing research in the European Union. Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications for the European Communities.

The report provides an analytical overview of research into gender portrayal in the media of the EU member states, and, where relevant, in other countries as well. The study also includes a separate annotated bibliography containing more than one thousand references to gender studies in the media.

Murdock, Graham, 2000. "Digital futures: the age of convergence" in Wieten, J., Murdock, G., Dahlgren, P. (eds). Television Across Europe, A Comparative Introduction. London: Sage

Nordenstreng, Kaarle, 1999. European landscape of media self-regulation. In: Freedom and responsibility yearbook 1998/99: what we have done, why we do it - texts, reports, essays, NGOs, Vienna: OSCE

The article deals with different mechanisms of media's self-regulation in Europe. European press councils and their functions are introduced as well as professional codes of ethics.

Nordenstreng, Kaarle and Wiio, Osmo A. (eds.), 2003. Suomen Mediamaisema (Finnish Media Landscape, available only in Finnish). Vantaa: WSOY

On the road to the Finnish information society - part 2. 1999. Helsinki: Statistics Finland. Note: The first part under the same title has been published in 1997 by Statistics Finland.

The book offers statistical data about the development of the Finnish information society in the 1990s.

Picard, Robert G. (ed.), 1998. Evolving Media Markets: Effects of economic and policy changes. Turku: Economic Research Foundation for Mass Communication (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration).

The anthology explores issues and developments associated with the changing media and communications landscape in Europe and throughout the world. It addresses forces that have and are continuing to alter traditional media markets and the implications and observable effects of those changes.

Picard, Robert G., 1998. Delusion of grandeur: The real problems of concentration in media. In: Picard, Robert G. (eds.): Evolving media markets: effects of economic and policy changes, Turku: Economic Research Foundation for Mass Communication

It is discussed what negative effects media concentration and media convergence bring into mass communication.

Sauri, Tuomo (ed.); Kohvakka, Rauli (ed.)1999. Finnish mass media 1999. Helsinki: Statistics Finland (Culture and the media; 1999, 1)

Sauri, Tuomo (ed.); Kohvakka, Rauli (ed.) 2002. Finnish mass media 2002. Helsinki: Statistics Finland (Culture and the media; 2002, 3)

The statistical overview provides comprehensive information on the media scene in Finland. The work is organized into chapters on mass media economy and consumption; television; radio; phonograms; video; films; books and libraries; newspapers and magazines. Summary articles on each media sector complement the statistical data.

Webster, Frank, 1995. Theories of the Information Society. London: Routledge

Wiio, Juhani, 1998. Managing strategic change in the changing radio and television market: a Finnish example 1985-1998. Helsinki: Finnish Broadcasting Company

The study examines the strategic activity of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in 1985-1998. The purpose of the author is to find an answer to the more general questions of how European public service radio and television broadcasters have been able to manage strategic changes on the radio and television markets.

Wiio, Osmo A. 1998. TV: guilty or not guilty? : Television and violence : an international comparison. Helsinki: Helsingin yliopisto

The report is a macro level study. International crime statistics are compared with the number of television sets in each country but also with television viewing times. Several combinations of data sets are tried.

E-Books:

Hujanen, Taisto, 2002. The Power of Schedule. Programme Management in the Transformation of Finnish Public Service Television. Tampere: Tampere University Press. http://tampub.uta.fi/tiedotusoppi/951-44-5600-9.pdf

Ruoho, Iiris, 2001. Utility Drama. Making of and Talking about the Serial Drama in Finland. Tampere: Tampere University Press. http://acta.uta.fi/pdf/951-44-5234-8.pdf

WWW-articles:

Artto, Juhani/Medialinnakkeet, 2002. Material on ownership in the media industry. Finnish enterprises abroad. Foreign enterprises in Finland.
http://www.medialinnakkeet.com/kvomistus.htm

European Journalism Centre. European Media Landscape.
http://www.ejc.nl/jr/emland/

Jyrkiäinen, Jyrki, 2000. Finnish Mass Media. High availability, Advanced Technology. University of Tampere, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/lehdeng.html

Jyrkiäinen, Jyrki, 2000. The Finnish Media Landscape. Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Tampere, Finland. The European Journalism Centre.
http://www.ejc.nl/jr/emland/finland.html

Kasvio, Antti, 2000. Information Society as a National Project– Analysing The Case Of Finland. University of Tampere, Finland.
http://www.uta.fi/%7Ettanka/Finland220500.html

NORDICOM - Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research. Nordicom Review, an English-language journal, published twice annually.
http://www.nordicom.gu.se/eng.php?portal=mr&main=nordicom_review2.php&me
=2

Sumiala-Seppänen, Johanna, 1999. "A Longstanding Experiment". The History of the Finnish Broadcasting Model. Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä.
http://www.jyu.fi/viesti/verkkotuotanto/broadcasting/

Södergård, Caj; Aaltonen, Matti; Hagman, Sari; Hiirsalmi, Mikko; Järvinen, Timo; Kaasinen, Eija; Kinnunen, Timo; Kolari Juha; Kunnas, Jouko; Tammela, Antti, 1999. Integrated multimedia publishing - combining TV and newspaper content on personal channels. The Eighth International World Wide Web Conference.
http://www8.org/

Links:

Council for Mass Media in Finland. Guidelines for good journalism
http://www.jsn.fi/english/

Kaarakainen, Henna, 1999. The Erkko family & Helsingin Sanomat.
A FAST-FIN-1 (TRENPP2C) Finnish Institutions Student Paper. FAST Area Studies Program. Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere.
http://www.uta.fi/FAST/FIN/MEDIA/erkko.html

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Virtual Finland - Information about Finland. News and Media.
http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/

Statistics Finland:

Ministry Of Transport And Communications
http://www.mintc.fi/www/sivut/english/tele/massmedia/index.html

NORDICOM - Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research. How many newspapers in Nordic areas
http://www.nordicom.gu.se/eng.php?portal=mt&main=showStatTranslate.php&me
=1&media=Newspapers&type=media&translation=Dagspress

Statistics Finland. Books published
http://tilastokeskus.fi/tk/tp/tasku/taskue_kulttuuri.html#Books

Statistics Finland. Libraries
- a chart showing the amount of libraries in Finland
http://tilastokeskus.fi/tk/tp/tasku/taskue_kulttuuri.html#libraries

Statistics Finland. Largest newspapers
http://tilastokeskus.fi/tk/tp/tasku/taskue_kulttuuri.html#Largestnewspapers

Statistics Finland. Newspapers and periodicals
http://tilastokeskus.fi/tk/tp/tasku/taskue_kulttuuri.html#Newspaper