Thematic grant call 2024: Media and Democracy in Finland in the 2020’s

The third thematic grant call in the programme “Is Democracy Eroding?” focuses on the relationship between media and democracy in the 2020’s. The thematic grant call will be held 1–15 September, 2024.

The ongoing radical transformation of Finnish journalism poses a threat to democracy. Media ownership has become concentrated, the number of journalists has decreased, and in many regions, a single media house nearly monopolizes the market. The decline of local journalism narrows content, reduces political participation and critical examination of local decision-makers, and increases the risk of negligent use of public funds. The diversification of society is not yet reflected in the journalistic community.

At the same time, societal debate and political influence have shifted to global social media platforms, where established ethical rules of journalism do not apply. Artificial intelligence applications have an impact on both social media and traditional media houses, and content based on images and sound challenges text-based communication.

Media literacy is in flux as algorithms guide media consumption and users try to assess content reliability. Additionally, students’ reading skills are deteriorating, and the media usage between different user groups is becoming more distinct. However, studies show that over two-thirds of Finns trust the news they follow – what will the future hold? How will this affect democracy?

Kone Foundation’s autumn 2024 thematic call, Media and Democracy in Finland in the 2020’s, examines changes in the media environment, diversity, and pluralism from a democratic perspective. In the theme call, the foundation can fund projects that, through research, enhance understanding of, for example, the impacts of media concentration, content homogenization, or changes in editorial practices on democracy, or explore the effects of social media and traditional media on democracy in Finland and globally. The foundation encourages collaboration between researchers and journalists in the projects.

The thematic grant call will be organised in conjunction with the annual grant call, 1–15 September, 2024.

More information

For more information, please contact Kalle Korhonen, Director of Funding,