Survival Strategies of Large German and Finnish Publishing Companies During the Internet Revolution – A Comparative Study of ten Major Publications
This research will be done under the tutelage of the School of Communication, Media and Theatre at the University of Tampere. Starting from April 2011 the author has also received guidance and tutorship from the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. • Researched publications: The publications researched include five Finnish and five German newspapers or magazines: 1) Die Welt, 2) Bild, 3) Der Spiegel, 4) Handelsblatt, 5) DerWesten, 6) Helsingin Sanomat, 7) Ilta-Sanomat, 8) Suomen Kuvalehti, 9) Kauppalehti, 10) Keskisuomalainen. The theoretical basis of this work is primarily rooted in the German research tradition of online journalism. The comparisons and analyses of the journalistic work practices used by the publishing houses will be carried out, among other relevant models, by applying the Internet public sphere model developed by Christoph Neuberger, Christian Nuernberg and Melanie Rischke. The aim of the research is to seek out workable and sustainable approaches for Finnish and German publishing houses that could be used when restructuring or calibrating journalistic work flows and business models to cope with the demands of the internet revolution. The aim is, in essence, to find out which online solutions have been proven to be both financially successful and meaningful with regards to the quality of content. The research is an examination of the work practices of German and Finnish publishing houses. It has three central research questions: 1) How have the publishing houses structured their journalistic work practices during the ongoing internet revolution? 2) What kind of online business models are the publishing houses using? 3) How are the publishing houses preparing for the future? The analysis of the journalistic work practices used by German and Finnish publishing houses will be conducted using qualitative comparative methods. Journalistic online work practices are categorised into four groups according to their degree of courage or paralysis. The research material consists, first, of in-depth interviews with journalists/managers in charge of the online departments and, second, of other written sources (press releases, stock exchange announcements, financial reports, news articles and trade papers). The research strives to fill an existing gap in journalism studies, namely the scarcity of qualitative comparative analysis of journalistic work practices between Finland and another European state during the internet revolution.