Old is New Again: Public Service Media Rebuilding Trust

Good News, Research

Public service media, in its different reiterations, is needed more than ever to support and defend democracy.

While political and cultural contexts, organisational configurations, funding models and resources, even programmatic priorities and technological capacities may differ, the unifying characteristics remain: the basic, traditional mission and remit of quality services to all kinds of audiences. And while pressures on public service media mount all around the world, there are many strategies that exemplify and support that mission. This was the powerful message of  the PMA Conference Speak Out! Rebuilding Trust in Media and Democracy, in Kingston, Jamaica, 13 August 2018.

See my report on the conference, here.

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Public Service Media and Information Disorder


Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 8.07.47 AMPublic service media (PSM) institutions around the world exist in challenging conditions: not only do the commercial counterparts claim that PSM is distorting the market, governments are increasingly meddling with content and tightening financing for these institutions. This is an alarming trend in times of viral misinformation, filter bubbles, distrust of media, and global political and economic turbulence.

This White Paper for the Center for Media, Data and Society, Central European University, paper builds on the Center’s public media speakers series, focusing on a specific challenge for public service media: “#fakenews” and #disinformation, or more broadly, the current “information disorder”. The paper draws from the outlined problems and threats, as well as opportunities, strategies, and tactics of public service media institutions around Europe with regard to tackling this challenge.

Download the White Paper here: publicservicemediaandinformationdisorder

Public Media in a Time of Global Reordering: Old Challenges, New Hope


What constitutes “public service media” (PSM) – its remit, its independence, its funding, its organizational configurations – is never set and self-evident. It constantly faces opposition from commercial competitors as well as political actors that seem to manifest in different reiterations year after year.  At the same time, its core values of universal service, public interest, and preservation of national culture can be found also outside of the Western PSM models.

This was the recurring theme in the IAMCR Post-conference Public Service Media in a Time of Global Reordering: Sustainability, Reinvention and Extension (25 June 2018), co-organized by Alessandro D’Arma from Westminster University, Yik Chan Chin from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, and Minna HorowitzThe event featured an array of cases that documented significant challenges but also interesting openings for unconventional and fresh thinking about public service media beyond the European iterations.

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In short


gender issues, public media, communication rights.


of collaborative practices.


expert community building.


funding proposals and grantee evaluation.


global media development.


higher education.


academic and applied, quantitative and qualitative.




BBA in International Business, MsSci in Communication and Language, PhD in Communication (Social Sciences). Executive Diploma in Social Innovation.

Some organizations I worked/am working with: Aalto University, Central European UniversityEuropean Science Foundation, Finnish Broadcasting Company, Fordham University, Kota Alliance, Ministry of Transport and Communications and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, GESCI ICT Education and Innovation, New America Foundation, Open Society Foundations, RIPE NetworkSocial Science Research Council, St. John’s University, University of Helsinki, United Nations.




Personal information

Birth date: 01/01/1968

Addresses: 99 State Route 144, Hannacroix, NY –

689 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

[Finnish Citizen, Permanent Resident in the United States]

Tel.:+1 347 254 2389

Present employment relationship

Assistant Professor in International Communication (until August 2018), Fellow of the Institute for International Communication, St. John’s University, New York. Teaching Portfolio, with Dean and student evaluations and syllabi. 

Docent Professorship of the University of Helsinki. (Since May 2017).

Instructor. University of Helsinki, Master’s Program in Media and Global Communication. (Since 2009).

Consultant in Digital Rights and Advocacy. Central European University, Center for Media, Data and Society. (Since 2017).

Previous employment relationships

Consultant: program development, community management, multi-stakeholder collaboration, policy advocacy, innovation in creative industries, ICTs and pedagogy, gender and the media. (Ongoing.)

Clients: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, UniPID, the Council of Europe, Yle (the Finnish Broadcasting Company), EBU (the European Broadcasting Union), UNDP, The Kota Alliance, IAAI-GloCha, GESCI (GESCI – Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative).

Researcher for the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland. The main researcher of annual studies on Finnish television programming and diversity; other consultancy assignments. (2001-2007, consultant in 2008-2010).

Researcher and Implementation Expert, Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company). Content and audience research; planning and implementing of training and research projects, e.g., the European Commission funded “Screening Gender” project of Northern European broadcasters; Advisory Board Member of the European Union DGV research project “Images of Women and Men in the Media”. (1995-2000).


Visiting Lecturer. Fordham University, Department of Communication and Media Studies, New York. (2010- 2011; 3 semesters).

Guest lectures at:

City University of New York, New York

Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore

University of Amsterdam

Westminster University, London

Scientific and academic administrative positions

Program Officer, Social Science Research Council, New York. Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere Program, New York. (2008- 2009; co-editor of the book based on the program 2009-2010.)

Senior Media Policy Research Fellow. New America Foundation. Washington, D.C. (2012 –2013).

Living Lab Researcher: GESCI – Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative. (Since 2014-2017).

Memberships in science academies

Young Scholar, European Science Foundation, “Changing Media – Changing Europe”, team: “Media Between Culture and Commerce”. (2002-2004).

Research funding

Three research for the projects of the Academy of Finland: “Commodification of Facts”, “Circuits of Power”,  and “Communication rights in the age of digital disruption”, University of Helsinki.

Finnish Cultural Foundation; Helsingin Sanomat Foundation; Foundation of the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Other scientific expert positions and scientific achievements

UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, Executive Diploma in Social Innovation (2013-2014).

Visiting Fellow, Aalto University, Helsinki. Research Group on Digital Learning Environments. (2014-2015).

Co-editor of the special issue of Media Studies Journal on the Future of Public Service Media. (2015).

Affiliate Research Fellow, Fordham University, McGannon Research Center, New York. (2006-2013).

Advisory Committee Member for the RIPE conferences. (2012-).

Guest lecture on public service media at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania; “Annenberg-Oxford” Global Media Policy Summer School, Oxford, the U.K. (2009).

Community Manager for RIPE / the Global PSM Experts Network, a project supported by the European Broadcasting Union. (Ongoing).


Available upon request.

Yhteenveto suomeksi

Kansainvälisen viestinnän apulaisprofessori. Sosiaalisen median ja markkinoinnin konsultti. Viestintäpolitiikan, media-aktivismin ja vertailevan tutkimuksen asiantuntija. Kansainvälisten projektien koordinoija. Kulttuurin, erityisesti musiikin ja dokumenttielokuvien, suurkuluttaja.