Nordicom | 29 Sep 2016

Meet Maarit Jaakkola - new employee at Nordicom

Nordicom welcomes a new colleague, Maarit Jaakkola. Maarit will mainly work as an editor of the scientific journal Nordicom Information and lead an annual study on the content in Swedish media. She brings with her broad experience as a researcher, teacher and journalist in Finland.

Maarit started her new job in September, but in the past year she had already been working as a correspondent for Nordicom. She contributed ideas and suggestions about Finnish research to Nordicom Information and news about the Finish media development to Nordicom’s Nordic newsletter.

Now, Maarit is looking forward to her new tasks at Nordicom, and to having our office in Gothenburg as her base.

Passionate about journalism and pedagogy
An interest in journalism and pedagogy has been a constant thread throughout Maarit’s career. In her latest position at the University of Tampere, she had worked as a journalism teacher and researcher since 2006. There, Maarit held courses in journalism and was responsible for student internships and the educational newsroom. Journalistic storytelling, online journalism and social media, as well as journalistic professionalism, are her specialities.

Maarit began her career as a journalist, and has worked for Finland's largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the Finnish news agency STT. She has also worked as a teacher at upper secondary schools focused on media education and media pedagogy.

Furthermore, she has educated teachers in media pedagogy and established a network for young people to teach adults (teachers, parents, etc.) about digital youth cultures.

PhD in cultural journalism
Naturally, Maarit’s research is also related to journalism and pedagogy. Her theoretical focus is journalistic cultures and journalistic professionalisation and specialisation. In the future, she wants to further develop her research on media education and social media.

In 2015, Maarit defended her thesis on cultural journalism in Finland. An acute hospitalization the day before threatened to stop it all, but with a certain Finnish “sisu”, she went through the entire defence via video link from a computer in a storeroom.

Nordicom Information – a forum for current media issues
Maarit is looking forward to immersing herself in the work with Nordicom Information, a popular-scientific and thematic journal with the ambition to be a meeting place for Nordic academia, media and politics. She will co-edit the journal with Ragnhild Mølster from Nordicom-Norway.

Nordicom Information is an excellent platform for current debates between researchers in various media-related areas, journalists and other media professionals, decision-makers, and the audience. It’s important to get a sense of as well as capture the relevant issues to highlight at different times, Maarit says.

The next issue, on storytelling, is almost finished, and one of Maarit’s first tasks will be to ensure that all the texts are presented as a cohesive whole. And for future issues, she has already many ideas.

Surveys about Swedish media content
Maarit will also conduct an annual analysis of the media output in Sweden. This new task of monitoring media output over time has been commissioned to Nordicom by the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority. The study will be a development of earlier studies, performed for the Authority since 1998 (see e.g. article on the 2014 report here).

– This supply study will not be as detailed as earlier ones; instead, it will be more comprehensive in terms of the media market and will cover TV, radio and some daily newspapers. More emphasis will be on analysis, explains Maarit, who will start the work already this autumn. The first report is scheduled before next summer.

Strengthens Nordicom’s Nordic competence
With Maarit, the Nordic competence at our Gothenburg office is reinforced. Her native language is Finnish, but she speaks and writes excellent Swedish. Besides English, she also masters German as well as some French and Russian.

– Nordic cooperation is close to my heart – for example, my first trip abroad without my parents, at the age of 13, was to Reykjavik – and I find it especially important to conduct work targeted at Finland, which is otherwise a bit removed from the Scandinavian countries because of its language, Maarit says.


Visit Maarit's homepage

Find Maarit's PhD thesis via Nordicom's database:
The contested autonomy of arts and journalism: Change and continuity in the dual professionalism of cultural journalism