Gender representations in flux – Profession and gender in Uutishuone

2/2011

Heidi Kurvinen

During the spring in 2009, the Finnish Broadcasting Company aired a fictional television series called Uutishuone (Newsroom). The series, which consisted of 12 episodes, depicted a television newsroom of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) in the late 1960s and 1970s. The series was extremely popular and it reached a wide variety of demographics. Approximately 604 000 people tuned in every week.

The gendered nature of the journalistic profession became one of the main themes of the series and in this article I ask what kind of an image it depicts. I concentrate on content analysis but refer also to the interviews conducted with the script writers and the discussions about the series that have taken place on online discussion forums and social networking sites. The main focus is on the female protagonist Raija Aalto. I analyse her character in relation to the other characters of the series as well as the fictional representations of female journalists in Anglo-American audiovisual media. I see the series as an example of modern television and its manner of offering multiple representations of gender and sexuality.