professional news: new post as the editor of ydin

There might be some traffic here on my relatively rarely updated professional webpage.

Besides working in the Academy of Finland funded project, at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and teaching ideology and discourse analysis in two Universities in Finland, I’ve also ended up on the practical field of ideology and discourse analysis as the Editor of Ydin magazine. Ydin is a non(party)-aligned magazine analysing politics and society in Finland. Established in 1966 (I’m hoping to get this figure right) it has its roots in the Finnish Peace Movement. This is not a job – doesn’t pay me money as most these kind of things, but it should be a great hobby.

Having been a member of the Finnish Committee of 100 for the whole of my adult life, and a member of the CND and Stop the War Coalition – but crucially an active member and for some time the figure head of the Essex Uni Peace Campaign – I’m glad and honoured to have such a post (although it means having a good hobby rather than a job with a salary).

The aim is to rejuvenate the magazine, which as many political fora, is greying after having failed to attract young readership. I’m visioning a turn towards, but perhaps not as far in the young, sexy and colourful side as the Red Pepper in the UK, but to start covering more issues beyond peace and security and renew the layout and hopefully some of the readership and contributors. Also, the currently web presence of this magazine is minimal. Ydin should become a forum for political activity and discussions.

The connections to other political magazines, such as the Red Pepper will be a great asset for Ydin, I believe. Internationalisation of the magazine should not come through translation only. All its potential readers in my age would be able to get interesting insights into international politics in other languages over the internet – what’s lacking is the contextualisation of that in the Finnish political and everyday realities.

In a country plagued by consensus – where the election debates often end up in agreement and not in the teasing out of the differences in the parties, it’s important to open up the discussion on an issue by bringing up different perspectives to it. That’s exactly what we plan to do with Ydin from its first issue in 2008.

The beautiful thing about this is that I can now start integrating into the Finnish society – having a fixed point of professional identification – direct my frustrations and the need to change the world to somewhere beyond the academia.

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