Narrative Journalism in Finnish Education and Research


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Presentation given at Sanoma Academy, May 19th 2014, at a workshop for narrative journalism.

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Narrative Journalism in Finnish Education and Research

  1. 1. Narrative Journalism in Finnish Education and Research MARIA LASSILA-MERISALO WORKSHOP ON NARRATIVE JOURNALISM, SANOMA ACADEMY, 19.5.2014
  2. 2. Education
  3. 3. Narrative Journalism in Finnish Universities • “Narrativity isn’t an individual topic but is included in several courses along the studies. This may create an assumption that it is not being taught at all.” (Tampere) • “There is a course on genres in web and print journalism (4 ECTS). One of the genres is feature, and narrativity is discussed as a part of that.” (Jyväskylä) 1 Visiting Professor Elina Grundström has put great emphasis on narrative journalism but these courses are one-time only. University Course Scope University of Tampere 01 0 University of Jyväskylä 0 0 University of Helsinki (Swedish) –Reportage – Creative expression and language in reportage –5 ECTS –5 ECTS
  4. 4. Narrative Journalism in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences • “Narrativity has become more and more important in journalism education, even in the news.” (Oulu) • “Storytelling was our emphasis a couple of years back, but we have switched our attention to marketing communications and multimediality.” (Lappi) • Turku, Oulu and Lappi all have an emphasis on film and TV/radio. University Course Scope Haaga-Helia – Magazine writing – Fictional techniques in journalism –7 ECTS –3 ECTS Turku UAS –Documentary writing, journalistic writing, creative writing –5 ECTS each Oulu UAS – Magazine work – Print journalism – 5 ECTS – 6 ECTS Lappi UAS – Journalistic storytelling – 10 ECTS
  5. 5. Other Players in the Field of Narrative Journalism Education • Media companies’ own events: Talentum Events 2011, Bonnier Storytelling 2008, Sanoma Academy… • Jokes-foundation (for promoting journalistic culture in Finland), storytelling workshops, 2009–11, perhaps more to come. • On-demand education: e.g. Long Play. • Small circles: Panu Räty. “Regular” foreign visitor: Thomas French. • Skilled editors as educators: editing educates both staff writers and freelancers.
  6. 6. Research
  7. 7. Research on narrative journalism (in English) • Markku Lehtimäki 2005: The Poetics Of Norman Mailer's Nonfiction: Self- Reflexivity, Literary Form, and the Rhetoric of Narrative. (PhD thesis) • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2012: “Taboo-Breaker in Mid-20th Century Finland: Veikko Ennala”. In: Keeble, R. and Tulloch, J. eds. Global Literary Journalism: Modes of Narrative Non-Fiction. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 89–102. • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2011: “Literary Journalism in 20th-Century Finland”. In: Bak, J.S. and Reynolds, B. eds, Literary Journalism across the Globe. Journalistic Traditions and Transnational Influences. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 184–207. • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2010: “Exploring the “reality boundary”of Esa Kero”. Literary Journalism Studies 2:1, 39–48. • Anu Nousiainen 2013: A Bunch of Distractive Writing. Why has fact-based and extensively reported American style narrative journalism not gained ground in Europe? (Reuters Institute Fellowship Paper)
  8. 8. Research on narrative journalism (in Finnish) • Lauri Haapanen 2011: “The functions and editing of quotations in literary-journalistic magazine articles”. Tiedotustutkimus 34:3, 64–89. • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2009: On the Borderline of Fact and Fiction. The Poetics of Literary Journalism in Finnish Magazines. (PhD thesis) • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2008: ”’Their disappointment is concealed from the nosy reporters’ The Poetics of Literary Journalism in Magazine Reportage”. Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti Avain 5:1, 6–25. • Maria Lassila-Merisalo 2005: “And Pluto-Salminen, well, we already know him” The narrator’s perceptibility in a personality story “Takapiru”, Tiedotustutkimus 28:4–5, 28–42.
  9. 9. Master’s theses • University of Jyväskylä: Pipsa Olli: survival stories, Jaana Siljamäki: personality profiles, Hanna Toivonen: narrative techniques in newspapers, Jenny Matikainen: nonfictional narratology in news, Heli Peltoniemi: narrative and the discourse of west, Maria Lassila- Merisalo: nonfiction in Helsingin Sanomien Kuukausiliite and Image… • University of Tampere: Markku Nykänen: Enkeli-Elisa case, Emmi Nissi: narrative structures and techniques in guidebooks and stories, Sini Kaipainen: reportage literature, Tatu Blomqvist: narrativity in a multimedia reportage, Elina Nikola: narrative news stories, Anu Partanen: feature and truth, Anu Nousiainen: reportage…
  10. 10. Challenges • lack of writing education in the universities in general, not only in narrative writing • lack of interaction between universities and universities of applied sciences • genre recognition: different terms used in different publications but even within one editorial office • current trend in narrative journalism: too much enthusiasm, not enough craft; stigmatization; overdose; counterreaction.