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Susanna Reinboth (left) and Minna Passi from Helsingin Sanomat received an investigative journalism award in the spring for their revelations on the Helsinki drugs squad.A majority of Finns would like to see more investigative journalism and news in the media, while the editors of newsrooms are planning to invest mainly in social media.

The discrepancy between consumers’ wishes and media bosses’ plans came out in a survey carried out by MTV News in June.

Around 55 per cent of decision-makers in media said they would place extra emphasis on social media in the near future, while only nine per cent of consumers included investments in social media on their wish list.

In contrast, up to a third wished that there was less focus on social media.

In general, consumers want more investigative journalism in the media, with 59 per cent of respondents mentioning it as something they would like see more of, while 47 per cent wished for more news.

On the decision-makers’ list of priorities, investigative journalism and news lagged behind social media, with 41 per cent of media bosses wanting to have more news and 36 per cent more investigative journalism.

A topic that both media decision-makers and consumers saw eye to eye on was entertainment content: both groups wanted to see less of it in the media.

A third of the consumers were happy to decrease the amount of sports and social media content, while 20 per cent of the media bosses would chop the number of editorials and columns. Around 15 per cent of respondents would be happy to see fewer in-depth reports and culture news.

The slump in the media business is reflected in the media bosses’ views, with up to 86 per cent of them believing that the number of people working in the field will go down over the next year.

Even though consumers clamour for more investigative journalism and news they are not prepared to put their money where their mouth is as only three per cent said they were prepared to pay more for media content.

Only just over half of the respondents were planning to maintain their current level of spending on media services while 40 per cent were thinking of spending less.

With a margin of error of three percentage points, MTV’s online survey had 1,619 respondents.

Translating into a response rate of 65%, 22 decision-makers of the Finnish news media, including editors-in-chief, managing directors and publishers, took part in the survey.

Tuomo Pietiläinen – HS
Niina Woolley – HT
Image: Sami Kilpiö / HS