Cultural responsibility implies participatory presence in communities
Supporting and promoting locality and communality are special characteristics of Alma Media’s corporate responsibility.
The media has significant indirect impacts on society. Throughout their existence, Alma Media’s newspapers have highlighted subjects that are important to local culture and identity, promoted good Finnish language and supported the cultural and economic development and vitality of their respective spheres of influence. For example, Aamulehti’s mission is to promote well-being in Pirkanmaa. Kauppalehti, for its part, seeks to support success and well-being in its community of economic decision-makers, entrepreneurs and other influencers in the world of business throughout Finland. Promoting media literacy, particularly among young readers, is also part of Alma Media’s cultural responsibility.
In recent years, the communality promoted by the social dimension of digital services has become one of Alma Media’s significant social impacts and, as a result, a key area of responsibility. For instance, Alma Media’s Vuodatus.net blog platform creates communities around various interests and hobbies. Alma Media’s success in bearing its cultural responsibility is assessed in many ways, for instance based on the feedback received by newspapers and online services.
Renewal is the precondition for local vitality
Genuinely local journalism and a strong presence are key elements of Alma Media’s corporate responsibility. The Group’s media play a strong participatory role in building and maintaining local solidarity, bringing people together and evoking discussion and debate.
In this changing world, local newspapers bear a certain responsibility for the well-being of their community by maintaining their own vitality and renewing themselves with the support of the local community. For example, Alma Media’s newspapers Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat, published in Northern Finland, renewed their format, content and operating model in January 2011 through a process which strongly involved their readership. In addition to reader panels, the changes to the newspapers are discussed on other forums as well, including Facebook, where each of the newspapers has an active fan page. Through increased mutual cooperation, the newspapers are able to serve their readers better by highlighting and interpreting subjects that are important to their respective regions.
The importance of media literacy is highlighted in a flood of information
Media literacy, or the ability to filter and assess information, is one of the preconditions for public dialogue. Alma Media’s newspapers strive to promote Finnish media literacy and culture not only through their journalism, but also through playing an active role in schools. During the annual Newspaper Week, Alma Media’s regional newspapers and some local newspapers provide around 100,000 copies free of charge to schools along with related content and media education material.
Aamulehti is particularly active in media education. During visits to the newspaper’s headquarters, school children participate in virtual workshops that shed light on what happens behind the scenes, learn about the challenges of newspaper publishing through games and get a new perspective on the newspaper. Like many other Alma Media’s newspapers, Aamulehti promotes media culture and a culture of public dialogue through discussion forums such as the traditional Aamulehti School Panels.