Karina Horsti

Karina Horsti


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

  • Docent in Communication
    Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki
  • Academy of Finland Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Visiting scholar, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University 2011-2012
  • OCF Fellow, Volkswagen Foundation, Germany 2010

Research interests:

  • Mediatization of migration
  • Humanitarian communication
  • Future of news journalism
  • Nation, ethnicity/race and difference in media culture
  • Racist and anti-racist discourses
  • Discourse and frame analysis in media studies
  • European multicultural media policies

Current research projects:

  • Framing immigration and integration in changing journalism. Finnish journalists operate in an increasingly multi-ethnic environment, and that requires new skills. In addition, new technology and increased competition have recently challenged routines, tradition, and business models of journalism. Opinions in and around journalism have increased, and this change has contributed to populist politics in Finland. This project analyses changes in immigration related opinionated journalism, like blogs, editorials, and columns, between 1990 and 2010. Funded by Academy of Finland, 2010-2012. The project connects to an international network "Citizenship and journalistic practices" which brings together academics and practitioners from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The network is hosted by the City University of London.
  • Structures of Compassion: Media, Migration, and the Politics of Emotion. The project is directed by Prof. Ullamaija Kivikuru, University of Helsinki and funded by Academy of Finland 2010-2013. My contribution to the project continues to scrutinize mediatisation of undocumented migration and refugees in Europe. Since the late 1990s I have studied news media’s role and ethical implications of coverage in the context of European migration control. In this project I analyse the ways in which ”voices of refugees” are constructed and disseminated within UNHCR and to wider publics, and how journalists, blogists, aid workers, and celebrities frame and explain refugee experiences. I collected empirical material in 2010 through interviews with UNHCR officers in Rwanda and Kenya, and with Congolese refugees in UNHCR refugee camps Kiziba and Nyabiheke in Rwanda. 
  • Humanitarian narratives: Critical perspectives on humanitarian action, human rights, and development. This project is part of the Humanitarian Action Initiative, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University, and it begain in 2011. It is directed by Professor, director of IPK Craig Calhoun, New York University, assistant professor Pierluigi Musarò, University of Bologna and assistant director of IPK Sam Carter, New York University. The project rethinks and reformulates the systems in the humanitarian field by analyzing emerging and historical humanitarian narratives. This multiyear project builds a network of international scholars and practitioners in the field of humanitarian action.

Past research projects:

  • Project leader. MigraNord: Nordic researcher network for media, migration and society. Funded by Nordforsk 2007-2010. The network brought together some 90 Nordic academics and doctoral students in seminars, conference panels, working groups, and joint publications. The network continues as TheoryNord: Re-developing international theories of media and migration in a Nordic context.
  • Multicultural media policy in public service broadcasting. This project analysed a shift from multicultural discourse to cultural diversity discourse in recent media policies at national and European levels. The results were presented in an invited symposium at the University of Stanford, News and Inclusion: Journalism and the politics of diversity. I am also editing a book with a working title National Conversations? Public service media and cultural diversity in Europe with Gunilla Hultén, Stockholm University and Gavan Titley, National University of Ireland. See below academic publications related to this research project. The project was funded by the University of Helsinki Post Doctoral Researcher programme 2007-2009.

Teaching: recent courses

Intercultural communication, Graduate course, Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, 2009.

Racist and anti-racist discourses. In English for Finnish and international students. Department of Communication, University of Helsinki, 2007, 2008.


Fields of Science

  • 518 Media and communications

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.