Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Vesa, Juho
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title
Transparency of Lobbying and Political Influence in the News Media
Decision No. 309934
Decision date 13.06.2017
Funding period 01.09.2017 - 02.11.2020
Funding 244 054
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Though the transparency of lobbying and political influence is an important issue in democracy, there is no lobby registry in Finland which would make lobbying transparent. But does the news media make lobbying visible? How accurate information do the media give of the activities and goals of lobbyists? I study this by analyzing in an innovative way (1) surveys of civil servants involved in lawmaking, political actors’ of the climate policy network and interest groups, (2) relevant media content, and (3) interviews of journalists. First I investigate through surveys what kind of role, goals and influence different interest groups have in lawmaking processes, policy networks, and political systems (Finland, Denmark, the UK). Then I compare, how accurately the news media depict the interest groups’ role, goals, and influence. With the same datasets, I also study to what extent different interest groups are able to control the presentation of their goals and activities in the news media.