Heli Lehtelä

Heli Lehtelä

  • Finish National Doctoral School
Participant in 2009

Phd Projects


Photojournalism as a creator of values: otherness in news photos

The research draws on the insights provided by photojournalism to examine the values and value formation of journalism in relation to power and ethnic minorities. The material to be analyzed consists of news photos shot in 2006, dealing with the Sámi, published in the Arctic press and in particular the newspaper Lapin Kansa. Photojournalism is a powerful medium, indeed, people outside the Arctic construct their view of the area largely through the news photos as they affect emotions and engender meanings about reality and settings more subtly than texts. Photojournalism makes value judgements on issues, groups and individuals through the size of the photos, settings, poses, the roles depicted and simply by choosing who is photographed. My particular focus is the news items dealing with the Sámi and how this ethnic minority is depicted in those representations. The methods to be used are content analysis and formal photo analysis. Among the questions I hope to address are: What kind of judgements can be seen in the representations of the Sámi? For example, are the roles depicted comparable to the real roles of the Sámi where occupations are concerned? Who takes on the active roles with power and who the passive ones? I use the concept of otherness for determining journalists’ priorities. A simple definition of otherness could be ‘being an outsider’. Is there otherness between norm population and the Sámi or even among the Sámi, for instance, in the relationship between women and men?

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