Photo: Kalle Koponen / Helsingin Sanomat
Quality journalism faces a challenge:
How to create immersive content while also building trust with the audience? Live journalism is a novel journalistic practice and a phenomenon in which carefully edited journalistic content is presented to a live audience. As a new genre, live journalism can offer insights into making journalism more engaging, transparent, and accountable.
Photo: Sami Kero / Helsingin Sanomat
Our research project, The Power of Live Journalism – From Insights to Applications, funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, examines live journalism and its relevance for the future of journalism.
We look into live journalism both in theory and practice. As a case, the project focuses on ‘Musta Laatikko’ (‘Black Box’), a live journalism event produced by journalists working for Helsingin Sanomat newspaper in Finland. Since its premiere in 2016, the 18 unique shows of 'Musta Laatikko' have attracted audiences comprising almost 50,000 people in five Finnish cities. In addition, we study live journalism shows internationally.
In the first phase of our research project (2019–2020), we examined what constitutes the attraction and power of live journalism for the audience. We have studied how journalists engage the audience in their speeches, how they combine the norm of journalistic objectivity with their subjective experience and presentation, and how the audience reacts to these elements.
In the second phase of the project (2020–2022), we have experimented how live journalism could be applied in other journalistic formats to develop journalism at large. Results of the project were presented in an international conference on live journalism in Helsinki in May of 2022.
The project is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and carried out in collaboration with Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) at University of Turku, Department of Language and Communication Studies at University of Jyväskylä, and the production team of 'Musta Laatikko' at Helsingin Sanomat.