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Maarit Jaakkola is a Doctor of Social Sciences (Journalism)
Co-Director at the Nordic Information Centre of Media and Communication Research Nordicom
University of Gothenburg in Sweden
Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism
Media and Communication (JMG) at the University of Gothenburg


Jaakkola's research is located at the intersection between media, culture and learning. In her research, Jaakkola is searching for connections between professional and non-professional media production, public and informal pedagogies, as well as cultural-studies approaches, preferring comparative studies in the Nordic region.

Further information:

    Personal homepage:
    ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID): 0000-0001-9979-6157


Maarit Jaakkola defended her doctoral thesis The contested autonomy of arts and journalism: Change and continuity in the dual professionalism of cultural journalism at the University of Tampere in 2015. She holds a Licentiate's and a Master's degree in Social Sciences and a Master's degree in Philosophy. She is also a trained journalist and teacher and has a professional diploma in educational management.

Previously, Jaakkola worked as a journalist for the national daily Helsingin Sanomat and Finnish Press and Photo Agency STT. She has also worked as a teacher and head of the media programme at Finnish upper secondary schools specialised in media and communication. Furthermore, Jaakkola has professional experience as a press officer and teachers' educator.

Research interests

Jaakkola's research is focused on different aspects of specialised journalism such as cultural journalism, as well as journalistic professionalism, cultural intermediation, cultural produsage and digital pedagogies. Further areas of research include the signature pedagogies of journalism education, media and information literacy and e-learning.

Recently, Jaakkola has been studying the Nordic journalism education from a comparative perspective, cultural journalism in the Nordic countries and vernacular reviewing on YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram.

Forthcoming publications

Jaakkola, M. & Räisä, T. (2021). Kirja-arvostelut alustataloudessa: esimerkkinä käyttäjälähtöiset arvostelut Instagramissa [Book Reviews in Platform Economy: User-generated Reviews on Instagram as a Case.] Media & viestintä, special issue on datafication.

Jaakkola, M. (2020). Content Analysis of Cultural Coverage. In: Oehmer, F., Kessler, S. H., Humprecht, E., Sommer, K. & Castro Herrero, L. (Eds.), Handbook of Standardised Content Analysis. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Jaakkola, M. (2020). Reimagining the Review: Transmedia Possibilities of Reviewing in Daily Newspapers in Finland and Beyond. In M. Jurado & B. Peña Acuña (Eds.), Periodismo cultural en el siglo XXI (vol. 2): Tendencias transmedia y perfiles profesionales. Madrid: Editorial Universitas.

Other activities

Currently, Jaakkola is the editor-in-chief of NordMedia Network, a digital platform for Nordic media researchers. Jaakkola is also the book reviews editor of the international scientific peer-reviewed journal in media and communication research, Nordicom Review. In 2016–2018, Jaakkola was the editor of Nordicom Information, an academic journal of media and communication published in 1979–2018 in English and Scandinavian languages.

Jaakkola is involved, among other things, in the following network activities:

    The Nordic Collaboration Committee for Journalism Education, chair
    Journalistic Roles, Values and Qualifications in the 21st century: How Journalism Educators across the Globe View the Future of a Profession in Transition, coordinator for the Nordic countries
    Media and Information Literacy and Innovative Teaching Methods Laboratory (MIL+LAB), an Erasmus+ cooperation project between four universities around the Baltic Sea, board member
    Social Media Resilience Toolkit – SMaRT-EU, member of the advisory board
    CO:RE, EU Kids Online, the Swedish national research network, coordinator
    The Media & Learning Association, board member
    UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy Expansion (MILx) Research and Development Consortium, member
    Member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Kulttuurintutkimus (Cultural Studies)
    The Swedish Film Institute, member of the Council of Film Pedagogy
    Local Journalism for All Network at Lindholmen Science Park, member
    The National Library of Sweden, member of the group of legal deposit and strategic collections within the Forum of national library cooperation and development (–2020)

Maarit's talk during PLACES Plenary Session

"Making sense of media literacy and related research: Outlining the geocultural specifics based on Baltic-Nordic collaboration"

Abstract: In this presentation, I will ask two essential questions that policymakers, educational developers and academics should be aware of: First, what is media literacy? Second, how can media literacy research be identified and conceptualized as a field? Drawing on recent studies on media literacy in the Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as the recent global frameworks, I will summarize some of the central elements that make media literacy matter and help identifying it as an object of inquiry.

Description: Maarit Jaakkola, PhD, Associate Professor, is the Co-Director of Nordicom, a Centre for Nordic Media Research at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Her research interests focus on digital media literacy, user-generated cultural content, cultural journalism and cultural citizenship. She is the responsible editor of NordMedia Network, as well as the founder and coordinator of the Academic Forum of MIL Research in Sweden. She guest-edited the special issue of the Central European Journal of Communication on media literacy in the Baltic Sea Region (2020) and was part of the Erasmus+ strategic partnership project MIL+LAB coordinated by Riga Stradins University.


Jaakkola is also working as a Lecturer in Journalism at Tampere University in Finland.