Professor Terhi Rantanen

Professor Terhi Rantanen

Professor of Global Media & Communications, Programme Director: MSc Global Media & Communications

Department of Media and Communications

020 7955 6401
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Room FAW.7.01B
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English, Finnish
Key Expertise
global media

About me

Terhi Rantanen (MSc, LicSc, DocSc, Docent, Helsinki University) is Professor in Global Media and Communications. Her books include When News Was New (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) The Media and Globalization (Sage, 2005), The Global and the National. Media and Communications in Post-Communist Russia (Rowman & Littlefield: 2002), The Globalization of News (with O. Boyd-Barrett, Sage: 1998), 'Maailman ihmeellisin asia'. Johdatus viestinnän oppihistoriaan ('Of All Affairs, Communication is the Most Wonderful.' An Introduction to the History of Communication Research) in collaboration with M. Ampuja, The Finnish Open University: 1997), Foreign News in Imperial Russia: The Relationship between International and Russian News Agencies, 1856-1914 (Federation of Finnish Scientific Societies: 1990) and 'STT:n uutisia' sadan vuoden varrelta' ('News from the Finnish News Agency, STT: One Hundred Years') (Weilin & Göös: 1987).

Before joining LSE in January 2000 she held a full-time position as a senior academic in the Department of Communication at Helsinki University, where she also holds the position of Docent (an academic honour which permanently enables her to teach in the Department). She has also been a visiting fellow/scholar/professor at several universities around the world including Stockholm University, The University of Southern California, The University of Oxford, The University of Westminster, The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University, Harvard University, Moscow State University and The University of Western Sydney.

Her latest book When News Was New was published by Wiley-Blackwell in April 2009. This book asks a simple question: 'what makes news new?'. It investigates how news has re-invented itself at different historical moments--from medieval storytellers to 19th century telegraph news agencies to 21st century bloggers. It argues that the newness of news has been regularly reconstructed, and that news is mostly old stories made new. At the same time, these stories inhabit temporal and spatial structures that challenge our ideas about our mental space in the past, the present and the future. Rather than asking whether news is 'objective', the book explores the temporality and spatiality of news, in order to show how it changes not only itself but the space around it. This is a book that reaches out from journalism and journalism studies to survey the wider social implications of news.

Her book The Media and Globalization came out in December 2004. This book challenges conventional ways of thinking about globalization and shows that it cannot be fully understood without studying the role of media and communications. It explores the relationship between macro- and micro-processes of globalisation and the role of media and communications in these processes. It introduces global mediagraphy, a new methodology for the study of individual experience in different locations across the world. Relating one life history to another, within and across four generations of three families in a number of countries, it seeks to pinpoint the multiplicity and complexity of connections, the crucial differences and similarities in life experience. These life histories of individuals, generally defined until now only nationally or locally, offer a new starting point for the conceptualization and understanding of what we can call mediated globalization.

The relationship between the global and the national has been one of the topics that is present in many of Terhi's publications. The Global and the National. Media and Communications in Post-Communist Russia published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2002 contributes to theoretical debate by relativising the concepts of "globalisation" and "new communications technologies" as well as analysing and describing their impact on a little known case: what was formerly called "a sixth of the world". It shows how the experience and effects of globalisation which initially played a liberating role in the downfall of Communism, are being transformed by the reassertion of the national.

Since the beginning of my career Terhi has been doing research on global media organisations. Her main object of interest has been news agencies, the first electronic media in the 19th century. Her first book was about the history of news agencies in Finland. Her second book was a historical study on the relationship between the global agencies of the 19th century and various Russian news agencies. Since then she has published extensively on global news transmission. One of the outcomes is a jointly written and edited book, The Globalization of News, published by Sage in 1998.

She is founding editor of Global Media and Communication.

Expertise Details

global media; globalisation; media and democracy; media history; news; transitional media


Research Interests include: Globalisation theories, global media, global news, post-communist and communist media, media history and history of media studies

Terhi co-directs an interdisciplinary research project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe launched in October 2009 and funded by the European Research Council.


Terhi has been Director of a two-year MSc programme in Global Media and Communications (with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles) since it was founded in 2000. In 2007 she became a founding Director of a new two-year MSc programme with Fudan University in Shanghai. She teaches one of the two core courses in the Global Media and Communication programme and on the core courses in the MSc programmes in Media and Communications.


Click here for a comprehensive list of Professor Terhi Rantanen's publications.

My research