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.

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.43.22 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 6.06.40 AM

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

Birthdate: 01/01/1968

Addresses: 423 Highmount Road, West Cosackie, NY –

689 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 –

Tammistontie 16 A 20, 01520 Vantaa

[Dual citizenship: Finland and the United States]

Tel.:+1 347 254 2389


● Doctor of Social Science: the University of Helsinki, Department of Communication and the Swedish School of Social Science, Research Institute.

● Master of Science in Business Administration: Helsinki School of Economics, Major: Communication and the Finnish language. (1990-1995).

● Bachelor of Business Administration, Schiller International University, Germany. (1987-1990).

Academic status

● Docent at the University of Helsinki since May 2017.

● Expert, Digital Rights, and Advocacy, Central European University, Center for Media, Data, and Society since 2017.

● Fellow in International Communication, Fellow at the Institute for International Communication, St. John’s University, New York. (Since 2017). Assistant Professor of Mass Communication (2011-2018).

● Instructor. The University of Helsinki (Since 2009-).

● Participation in current grant-funded projects (-2023): The Nordic Observatory for Digital Media and Information Disorder (NORDIS), Emotions at Stake: Authority of the Media and Trust of the Audience and Communication Rights in the Era of Digital Disruption.

○ Previously, three research for the projects of the Academy of Finland (2000-2007): Recession and the Media, Commodification of Facts, and Circuits of Power.

○ Individual grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation; Helsingin Sanomat Foundation; Foundation of the Finnish Broadcasting Company.


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

Clients: The Council of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Finnish University Partnership for International Development, Yle (the Finnish Broadcasting Company), United Nations Development Program, The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI).

Selected previous employment relationships

● 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).

● Associate Expert. United Nations Focal Point for Women, New York (1997-98).

Scientific and academic positions

● Member of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Think Tank on the impact of tech giants in the Nordic public sphere (2022-).

● 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).

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

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

● Guest lectures 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); Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi (2009-2021); Northwestern University – Qatar (2021).

● Co-editor of the special issue of Media Studies Journal on the Future of Public Service Media (2015) and the Journal of Information Policy (2020).

● Junior Scholar of the European Science Foundation (2004-2006).

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

Non-profit positions

● Vice President of the International Association of Public Media Researchers.

● Board member of Avoin yhteiskunta/Faktabaari, a Finnish transparency NGO/fact-checker.

● Executive Director (summer 2018), an Advisory Board Member, and involved in programmatic development of the Kota Alliance, a global, NYC-based incubator for civil society organizations and social businesses promoting gender equality.

● Member of IAAI-GloCha, a non-profit promoting systemic innovation regarding resource mobilization of global civil society for effective global governance in support of the work of the United Nations System; special focus on technology and youth employment.


Available upon request.

Yhteenveto suomeksi

Viestinnällisten oikeuksien tutkija. Kansainvälisen viestinnän opettaja. Viestintäpolitiikan, media-aktivismin ja vertailevan tutkimuksen asiantuntija. Kansainvälisten projektien koordinoija. Vapaaehtoistyötä  tasa-arvon, kestävä kehityksen sekä akateemisen yhteiskuntavastuun puitteissa.