|dc.description.abstract||The study explores the role of the regional voice of the Finnish press. Interest is
focused on the representations of regions, regional identities, and regional
communities, and on the construction of identities, and relationships between
newspapers and their readerships. The approach combines media and discourse
studies with studies of regions and identities.
The data consists of newspaper texts and interviews with journalists. Texts
from seven regional newspapers were analyzed, and 20 journalists interviewed.
To capture the simultaneous constitution of representations, identities and
relationships of the press with its readership, attention is focused on intertextual
analysis of texts: the analysis of cultural and political regional discourses, and of
regional texts as discourse types.
It is worth noting that the attempts of journalism to capture the character of
a region, and to express its voice, are based on its reporting of public figures
operating in the fields of politics and regional government. Ordinary people are
seldom given space in the regional news. This means that both cultural and
political regional discourses represent regions as abstract and spatial entities, as
they are seen from the viewpoint of politics and administration; instead of looking
for their relevance to peoples' everyday lives. As readers are seldom represented,
nor encouraged to act as citizens in journalistic texts, the reader identity which
emerges in the news is often that of a bystander.
Instead of the press constructing the voice of the region by reference to the
judgements of public actors, the study suggests regional media should seek to
create a regional public space; fora where people can take on a public role.
Learning to look on the experiences of its readers as important source of social
and political knowledge is also seen a challenge for journalism.
Key words: regional, journalism, newspapers, news, discourse, identity,