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Public interest in media policy: the case of Finland

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Finnish experience is interesting for media scholars for at least two reasons: the country claims to be one of the world's first Information Societies; and its media system represents, according to Hallin and Mancini, the Democratic Corporatist model. This article starts by posing two questions. The first asks whether the Finnish experience validates Hallin and Mancini's claim of the ongoing process of homogenization of the global media culture, leading to something resembling the Liberal Model. The second, following Peter Humphreys' distinction, concerns the balance between economic-commercial and democratic-social interests in the Finnish media and communications policies. The article contextualizes these questions first historically and then by different policy sectors (public service broadcasting, television, press subsidies). On the basis of the analysis, the article concludes that in the past few years Finland has experienced a collapse of consensus in its national media policy, and that economic-commercial interests are today dominant. Democratic corporatism, if it ever existed, is giving way to a market-based model of media and communications policy.
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Keywords: Broadband For All; Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE; Finnish consensus; democratic corporatism; press subsidies; public service broadcasting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki.

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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