The new issue of the journal Nordicom Information deals with the Nordic community, with a focus on communication and language. Nordic cooperation has a long history and, according to many, the Nordic affinity is needed more than ever in today’s world. However, at the same time, the Nordic model is losing some of the characteristics it once had: English is now more commonly used, the role of public service is decreasing, and there is less political consensus on the Nordic values.
The cooperation within and outside the Nordic countries is based on political will; there must be visions and objectives. In this issue of Nordicom Information, Johan Strang, professor at Helsinki University, looks back on a report published for the Nordic Council’s 60th anniversary: Nordic Communities – Vision for the Future. The report was received with criticism and was described by the Swedish historian Gunnar Wetterstrand as “as visionary as semi-skimmed milk”; but as it turned out, many of the ideas discussed in the report gained ground afterwards.
Nordic actors, ranging from a newly launched association for young Nordic journalists to a Nordic centre for research in Shanghai, tell about how they view the relevance of the Nordic countries in their activities today. This journal issue also includes Icelandic and Sámi contributions: the Icelandic linguist Ari Páll Kristinsson describes the Icelanders’ position in relation to the Nordic language community, while Torkel Rasmussen from the Sámi University College describes the media output for Sámi children and youth, discovering shortcomings in statistics on and knowledge about media use among minorities.
The linguistics expert Katarina Lundin writes about inter-Nordic language comprehension, which can no longer be taken for granted. Mikael Hiltunen, project manager of the Finnish network Svenska nu [Swedish Now], describes the position in Finland of the Swedish language, which is the country’s second official language but has been facing some political headwind.
The last issue
This will be the last issue of Nordicom Information. In future, the communication concerning media and communication research will be conducted in other ways.
“In today’s digitalised society, there are many other possibilities to spread information to larger audience and to analyse, reflect and debate upon new Nordic media research. At this point, we do not know what forms our communication and cooperation will take on, but one thing is for sure: the meaning and relevance of the Nordic interaction will not decrease,” writes Editor Maarit Jaakkola in the issue’s introduction.
Nordicom Information was founded in 1979 and published as a news leaflet with reviews of Nordic research fields, and was later developed into a scientific journal. In 2010, the format was changed to that of an academic journal, with thematic issues for a more general audience. The editors of Nordicom Information have been Ulla Carlsson, Ingela Wadbring, and Maarit Jaakkola.
The issue is mainly written in the Scandinavian languages, but there are also contributions in English.