Working within Networks

by Maria Suokannas

I work as project leader in Media Factory although I cannot see myself as working in a factory. I would even prefer to say that I work for the Aalto Media Network instead. But on the other hand, I understand that the Factory is defined as a platform for innovations and has nothing to do with me sitting on the assembly line. Media Factory is identified as a network that adds value to media education and research by helping people to find each other, access pre-existing knowledge and find new paths for creating new knowledge in new ways and with new partners. This is the simplest way to explain what a network is. But we, who arrange the appropriate meetings between the different actors know that someone is needed to facilitate the networking process. There must always be someone who sets the dates and arranges the possibilities for networking. Continue reading

Networking towards thematic clusters and future innovations?

by Johanna Pentikäinen

Media Factory Researchers’ Forum had its first meeting on Thursday 23.4.2009. The Forum is a connection arena for researchers working on media-related issues in the new Aalto University. Within the Forum, we aim to serve researchers, help them network and formulate research teams and thematic clusters. Be active, it is your forum!

Networking had a good start, with wisdom of networking. Professor Reijo Miettinen from University of Helsinki (Center of Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research) gave a presentation titled “Distribution innovation and the challenge of multi/transdisciplinarity”. With his research team, he has done some notable research on innovations and organizations. At least I personally was very pleased to hear his key lessons of the late 1900’s innovation studies as well as his investigations done on new organizational forms of innovation. It seems that there is a lot to be done within the field, and Aalto University is a good place for that.

It is not a great surprise that Miettinen’s examples are from internet-mediated open development masterpieces. Miettinen gave some examples that manifest the idea of free open-source software development. Linux development community is a natural member of this team of examples, as well as Wikipedia, Encyclopedia of Life, Habbo hotel, and others Miettinen discussed. However, those examples still are powerful tools to manifest the democratization of innovation in new forms of organizations. Continue reading

Tear down the firewalls

     by Maija Töyry

What is the easiest way for a journalist to lose reputation in the eyes of one’s colleagues?  To publish stories that  promote one’s own financial or ideological interests or those of a friend. The credibility of a journalist depends on the ability to differentiate between private and public interest. Therefore a strong professional firewall has been built in newsrooms between journalistic content and marketing. The aim is to insure the quality of journalistic content – and that is a good thing.

However, how is news production in newspapers funded?  With the money from the advertisers.  Lasting readership relations are first created with providing interesting content for the readers and also with the hard efforts of the circulation department. Then these readership contracts are sold to the advertisers as target groups. In the 1980’s the advertising revenue in Finnish newspapers covered 75 percent of the costs and nowadays 60 percent. So the firewall tries to keep news non-contaminated by advertisers but still advertisers fund the production of news. Continue reading