Panel Discussion

The resilience of different types of media systems

In most Western countries, governments have responded to the COVID-19 crisis with active public interference in both economy and social life, signifying an apparent shift regarding the state’s role and the media. All the Nordic states have introduced or increased public support for media and journalism as an important part of the frontline defense against the pandemic. In an age of disinformation, and an economic crisis for traditional media, the question arises of whether there is a renewal emerging in classic Nordic media welfare state values. The panelists are asked to address this question and discuss the impact of the crisis and the resilience of different types of media systems.


Brita Ytre-Arne (PhD) is Professor of Media Studies at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Specializing in qualitative media use research, her work analyzes how citizens connect to society through cross-media use and explore the impact of datafication, algorithms and mobile technologies on our lives. Currently, her research is focused on the role of media in complex societal crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. She has studied pandemic media use from the first wave and led a project on risk perceptions and news monitoring strategies amongst Norwegians through different phases of the pandemic. Ytre-Arne is PI for a new project starting in 2021, funded by the Research Council of Norway, titled “Media Use in Crisis Situations: Resolving Information Paradoxes, Comparing Climate Change and COVID-19”.

Kari Karppinen (PhD) is a university lecturer in Media and Communication Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. His research focuses on media and democracy, communication rights, and the guiding principles of media policy. He has previously also worked as a visiting research fellow at the University of Sydney, Westminster University, and Fordham University. He is the author of the book Rethinking Media Pluralism, four other co-edited books, and many articles and book chapters that range from normative theories to media policy analyses.

Victor Pickard (PhD) is Professor of Media Policy and Political Economy at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and co-director of Media, Inequality and Change Center. His research focuses on the history of media institutions, media activism, and the politics and normative foundations of journalism and media policy. His work is particularly concerned about the future of journalism and the role of media in a democratic society. He has published over 100 book chapters, articles, and essays in leading scholarly journals and anthologies. He has written or edited six books, including, most recently, Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society (Oxford University Press) and sits on the editorial board of 12 major communication journals and book series.

Ida Willig is Professor of Journalism at the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University in Denmark, director of Centre for News Research, and head of the research group Journalism & Democracy. She is also a visiting professor at Ilisimatursarfik, University of Greenland since 2016. Ida is an appointed member of the Danish Media Board, assigning and overseeing media subsidies for the printed and online press in Denmark. Her main research areas are media sociology and journalism studies, with research topics including media systems, news values, journalism practice, and press history.

Panel Moderator

Jonas Ohlsson is an associate professor, director of Nordicom and editor-in-chief of Nordicom Review. He holds a PhD in Media, Journalism and Communication from the University of Gothenburg. His research interests include media structure, media economics, media policy, and media consumption.

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NordMedia2021, themed Crisis and Resilience: Nordic Media Research in the Frontline, was held virtually on 18–20 August 2021.

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