Browsing by Subject "objectivity"

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  • Ruotsalainen, Juho; Hujanen, Jaana; Villi, Mikko (2019)
    As pioneers of new ideas and practices, many entrepreneurial journalists spearhead the change of journalism towards hybridity. By applying appraisal theory, this article examines a hybrid of objectivity and dialogue in daily news articles by five entrepreneurial journalism outlets – Axios, MustRead, National Observer, The Skimm and the Voice of San Diego. For comparative purposes, a dataset from three legacy media outlets was also analysed. The results show that the entrepreneurial journalism outlets employ journalistic dialogue in otherwise stylistically objective news texts notably more often than do legacy media outlets. Dialogic registers provide subtle, non-partisan assessments of events and issues and make the news more informal. Such a hybrid form of journalism serves the functions of sense-making, establishing an interpersonal connection between ‘private’ audiences and ‘public’ news, and connecting journalism with fields outside of its core. By doing so, the hybrid journalism of entrepreneurial journalists offers a distinctive vision of the futures of news journalism.
  • Frantsi, Valtteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019 was awarded to Banerjee, Duflo, and Kremer for their fight against poverty, as well as for their methodological contributions to development economics. This thesis discusses their methodological approach, the use of randomized field experiments (RFE) in policymaking, which according to the advocates of the evidence-based policy (EBP), provide better and more objective evidence. This claim will be examined, and rejected, in the light of the methodological literature of field experiments in economics and a case study of the Finnish Basic Income Experiment (BIE Finland). It will be argued that EBP’s view on RFE’s objectivity is rooted on the narrow view of mechanical objectivity, which overemphasizes methodological norms, such as randomization. This hinders various value choices regarding the research process and ignores the fact that the quality and nature of the evidence can change in the process. Co-creation of the scientific methods and interaction of the science and policy, thus, challenge EBP to reconsider their normative guidelines. This thesis examines BIE Finland and demonstrates how ethical values can become as constitutive values of the research via decisions over (i) the experimental design and (ii) theoretical content, and via (iii) interpretation of the results. It will be argued that these three routes present epistemic risks, but also opportunities to increase the relevance and validity of the research. Ultimately these routes show how scientists are troubled by uncertainty and the risk of error, providing also an avenue for subjectivity. While these routes show complex trade-offs between epistemic and non-epistemic values, their implications for the objectivity of the research are also not clear. This is not only because, as will be illustrated with BIE Finland, RFE’s are compatible with various epistemic aims and inferences that are not always clear, but also because the consequences of inductive risk for the normative guidelines and evidential standards is neither obvious. It will be argued that EBP should clarify the constituents of the trained judgment and the role of epistemic and non-epistemic values throughout the research process, because it ultimately shows how researchers are troubled with uncertainty and the risk of error. This requires them to abandon the value-free ideal and move beyond narrow mechanical objectivity in order to address the epistemic risks and potential disappointment associated with the evidence-based policymaking.
  • Pääkkönen, Juho; Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria; Jauho, Mikko (2020)
    Social media analytics is a burgeoning new field associated with high promises of societal relevance and business value but also methodological and practical problems. In this article, we build on the sociology of expectations literature and research on expertise in the interaction between humans and machines to examine how analysts and clients make their expectations about social media analytics credible in the face of recognized problems. To investigate how this happens in different contexts, we draw on thematic interviews with 10 social media analytics and client companies. In our material, social media analytics appears as a field facing both hopes and skepticism—toward data, analysis methods, or the users of analytics—from both the clients and analysts. In this setting, the idea of automated analysis through algorithmic methods emerges as a central notion that lends credibility to expectations about social media analytics. Automation is thought to, first, extend and make expert interpretation of messy social media data more rigorous; second, eliminate subjective judgments from measurement on social media; and third, allow for coordination of knowledge management inside organizations. Thus, ideas of automation importantly work to uphold the expectations of the value of analytics. Simultaneously, they shape what kinds of expertise, tools, and practices come to be involved in the future of analytics as knowledge production.
  • Husu, Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    During this century, political fact-checking has emerged as a novel genre in journalism to combat challenges to journalism’s legitimacy crisis relating to political, economic, and social changes. In the new media ecology, journalism has lost its gatekeeper status and authority as the central information mediator, and journalists are increasingly coping with challenges of so-called fake news and disinformation. Political fact-checking reflects journalists’ defense against the current situation where their fact-based discipline is constantly under reputation threat. However, journalists proceeding to judge whether politicians’ predicated knowledge claims are verifiable facts, they confront their capabilities and shortcomings in making such judgements. Journalists directly deal with the essence of facts and their ability to place them in contexts. This study contributes to the field of journalism and fact-checking by employing an epistemological framework, which has only recently been reintroduced as a theoretical approach to journalism studies. This thesis is a qualitative research with six semi-structured interviews with Finnish journalists to analyze journalists’ sensemaking in the context of political fact-checking. The method applies discourse analysis to study the regular interpretative practices through which participants construct their fact-checking. In addition, the thesis analyzes emerging aspects of the journalists’ epistemic authority based on their sensemaking performance. The results indicate that journalists approach political fact-checking through problem-oriented and solution-oriented repertoires. Discourses within problem-oriented repertoires unveil several epistemological problems that journalists encounter as they proceed to judge politicians’ claims as true or false: Political communication often creates difficulties to identify fact-based discourse, and journalists tend to lack evidence in convincing themselves of their judgement because facts may turn out to be unsettled on close inspection. Furthermore, social media that utilizes fact-checking can be problematic since journalistic fact-checks are taken out of their initial context. Within a solution-oriented repertoire, journalists construct methods to cope with these presented challenges. They advocate for more collaboration in the newsroom, involve colleagues in verification, and support making this process transparent to the public. This thesis approaches journalists’ role as epistemic authorities critically: Journalistic fact-checking relies on collaborative context construction rather than on journalists’ individual reasoning. Journalistic authority is to be distinct from political authority, and journalists defend their neutral role with the journalistic methods and values that guide their practice. Fact-checking is influenced not only by journalism’s internal procedures and values, especially fairness, balance, and public service but also by the external institutional structures.
  • Pareyon, Gabriel (International Summer School for Semiotic and Structural Studies, 2010)
    Ingarden (1962, 1964) postulates that artworks exist in an “Objective purely intentional” way. According to this view, objectivity and subjectivity are opposed forms of existence, parallel to the opposition between realism and idealism. Using arguments of cognitive science, experimental psychology, and semiotics, this lecture proposes that, particularly in the aesthetic phenomena, realism and idealism are not pure oppositions; rather they are aspects of a single process of cognition in different strata. Furthermore, the concept of realism can be conceived as an empirical extreme of idealism, and the concept of idealism can be conceived as a pre-operative extreme of realism. Both kind of systems of knowledge are mutually associated by a synecdoche, performing major tasks of mental order and categorisation. This contribution suggests that the supposed opposition between objectivity and subjectivity, raises, first of all, a problem of translatability, more than a problem of existential categories. Synecdoche seems to be a very basic transaction of the mind, establishing ontologies (in the more Ingardean way of the term). Wegrzecki (1994, 220) defines ontology as “the central domain of philosophy to which other its parts directly or indirectly refer”. Thus, ontology operates within philosophy as the synecdoche does within language, pointing the sense of the general into the particular and/or viceversa. The many affinities and similarities between different sign systems, like those found across the interrelationships of the arts, are embedded into a transversal, synecdochic intersemiosis. An important question, from this view, is whether Ingardean’s pure objectivities lie basically on the impossibility of translation, therefore being absolute self-referential constructions. In such a case, it would be impossible to translate pure intentionality into something else, like acts or products.
  • Rosenback, Michaela (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Developing technologies and social media platforms offer new ways of producing and receiving political content. The political elites need to follow, and update social media on a regular basis, and political messages are being blended into the world of entertainment and show business. At the same time, journalists have incorporated social media in their daily job and use social media platforms as working tools. This affects the interconnections between journalists and politicians, making their relationship increasingly complex. This study aims to scrutinise how political journalists in Finland describe the impact of social media on their job and their possibilities to communicate with politicians. The study explores journalists’ perceptions of and attitudes towards the technological development, and discusses what this rapid flow of information and new options of communication mean for the journalistic trade and professional identity. The data is based on interviews with nine well-known and distinguished political journalists working at various newsrooms in Helsinki, Finland. The interviewees represent print media, radio, television and web, and have between five and thirty five years of experience in political reporting. The interviews are analysed with the help of an applied thematic analysis (ATA) approach. The ATA approach was chosen because it is considered to be transparent, ethical and flexible. For example, the ATA approach takes factors such as resources and time into consideration, aka. limitations that can have impact on the analysis. The ATA approach does not require a painstaking, word-by-word analysis, but rather a systematic work of splitting the data into manageable pieces and identifying general themes and categories. The ATA approach helped me to analyse my data in an efficient manner. The results of the study indicates that social media indeed has changed the dynamics between journalists and politicians. In many ways the informants feel that the relationship has benefited from social media - for example they state that it is easier to stay updated, find material for a story and do research with the help of social media platforms. However, with social media the politicians have gained a new tool of control, which can help them to alienate themselves from journalists and their questions. Therefore, the informants express a worry that that the communication between journalists and politicians increasingly is based on the politicians’ premises. Thus, closeness and speed stand against the risk of politicians becoming stronger agenda setters in an environment where critical questions easily can be ignored or deleted. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that social media platforms and their logic of transparency have challenged the traditional journalistic notion of objectivity. The traditional understanding that journalists should be free of bias is being questioned in contemporary society where journalism has come to be so much more than just information. This study illustrates that journalists of today are urged to share personal viewpoints in order to attract followers, a development that is dictated by social media platforms. That, in turn, reflects the expansion of the journalistic profession. The job has become more than a job. Today it is a mind-set, lifestyle and identity for many hard working journalists.
  • Kuosmanen, Sonja (2021)
    Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the conflict later known as the Gulf War became a focus of US media and the target of a campaign to gain public support for military action against Iraq. Building on previous research, this study shows that terms referring to specific actors changed in three major US newspapers during fall 1990 in ways that suggest the newspapers’ practices of objective reporting were affected. Centered on Presidents George Bush and Saddam Hussein as key players, the use of different terms of reference in press reports changed systematically to highlight Bush in a prestigious role as the US leader, while Hussein was delegitimized as a dangerous individual. Kuwait and its leaders were sidelined. Reporters prioritized officials associated with military and intelligence agencies at times of increased tensions. These changes implicitly supported the interests of the Bush administration and discourses favorable to US military action.
  • Koskinen, Inkeri (2017)
    This article focuses on epistemic challenges related to the democratisation of scientific knowledge production, and to the limitations of current social accounts of objectivity. A process of ’democratisation’ can be observed in many scientific and academic fields today. Collaboration with extra-academic agents and the use of extra-academic expertise and knowledge has become common, and researchers are interested in promoting socially inclusive research practices. As this development is particularly prevalent in policy-relevant research, it is important that the new, more democratic forms of research be objective. In social accounts of objectivity only epistemic communities are taken to be able to produce objective knowledge, or the entity whose objectivity is to be assessed is precisely such a community. As I argue, these accounts do not allow for situations where it is not easy to identify the relevant epistemic community. Democratisation of scientific knowledge production can lead to such situations. As an example, I discuss attempts to link indigenous oral traditions to floods and tsunamis that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago.