Dr Merja Myllylahti

Lecturer, Co-Director at JMAD

Phone: 09-9219999

Email: mmyllyla@aut.ac.nz

Address for blogs:
Links to relevant web pages:


  • PhD – Communication Studies (AUT, New Zealand)
  • MSc - Electronic Publishing (City University, UK)
  • BA - Social Sciences, (Jyvaskyla University, Finland)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Co-Director, Journalism Media and Democracy (JMAD)
  • Editorial Board Member, Media and Communication
  • Blogger, International News Media Association (INMA)
  • Judge, NZSA Business Journalism Awards


Merja was appointed as Co-Director at the AUT research center for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) in 2019. Previously, she was Project Manager for the research center and Author for the center's New Zealand media ownership reports. She is an expert in New Zealand media ownership after authoring eight New Zealand media ownership reports.

In 2019, she was appointed as a tenured lecturer at the AUT School of Communication Studies.

Merja is as also one of the prominent academics studying news payment systems, including paywalls. Her work has been published in international academic books published by Wiley, Oxford University Press and Routledge; and academic journals such as Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, Journal of Media Business Studies and Pacific Journalism Review.

She is in Editorial Board of Media and Communication Journal; blogger for International News Media Association, and a judge for NZSA Business Journalism Awards.

In 2017, she was awarded one year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at AUT which she completed in December 2018.

Teaching Areas:

  • Media Communication
  • Journalism
  • Media Skills
  • Media Industries
  • News Media Processes

Research Areas:

  • Digital news revenue models
  • Attention economy
  • Platform regulation
  • Digital news transition
  • News pay systems
  • Media ownership

Current Research Projects:

  • News and attention economy
  • Reader-revenue models
  • Platforms and news systems
  • Platform regulation
  • News media ownership


Book chapters:

  • Myllylahti, M. (2019). Paywalls. International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Wiley.
  • Myllylahti, M. (2019). Paywalls and payment systems. Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Oxford University Press.
  • Thurman, N., Picard, R., Myllylahti, M. & Krumsvik, A. (2018, forthcoming). On digital distribution’s failure to solve newspapers’ existential crisis: Symptoms, causes, consequences, and remedies. In B. Franklin & S. Eldridge II. (eds.), Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies.
  • Myllylahti, M. (2017). We need to talk about metrics. In V. Rupar (ed.), Themes and debates in contemporary journalism. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, pp.87-104.
  • Myllylahti, M. (2017). Newspaper Paywalls and Corporate Revenues; A Comparative Study'. In B. Franklin & S. Eldridge II (eds), The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies. London: Routledge, pp.166-175.

Academic articles:

  • Myllylahti, M. (2018). Attention economy trap? An empirical investigation into four news companies’ Facebook traffic, news distribution and revenue. Journal of Media Business Studies. Under review.
  • Myllylahti, M. (2017.) The rise of tactical partnerships: media converging beyond ownership. MEDIANZ 17(1), 1-19. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/medianz-vol17iss1id181
  • Baker, S. Rupar, V., Craig, G., Devadas, V., Owen, T., Myllylahti, M., Bereti, C. (2017). News diversity in New Zealand local body elections 2016. MEDIANZ 17(1), 1-27. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/medianz-vol17iss1id184
  • Myllylahti, M. (2016). Evolving funding models of news publishers and public service media. Nordicom Information 38(1), 25-29
  • Myllylahti, M. (2016). What content is worth locking behind a paywall? Digital news commodification in leading Australasian financial newspapers. Digital Journalism [Online]. DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2016.1178074
  • Myllylahti, M. (2014). Newspaper paywalls – the hype and the reality. A study of how paid news content impacts on media corporation revenues. Digital Journalism, 2(2), 179-194
  • Hope, W. & Myllylahti, M. (2013) Financialisation of New Zealand media ownership. NZ Sociology 28(3), 192-207
  • Hope, W. & Myllylahti, M. (2011). Global capital and media communication ownership in New Zealand. Pacific Journalism Review 17(2), 188-209
  • Thurman, N. & Myllylahti, M. (2009). Taking paper out of news. A case study of Taloussanomat, Europe’s first online-only newspaper. Journalism Studies 10(5), 691-708


  • 2017. Appointed as a post-doctoral Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology
  • 2016. Awarded the ‘best New Zealand research paper’ at the World Journalism Education Congress in Auckland, July 2016, for the research paper How digital are the news publishers? A study of newspaper publishers’ evolving revenues, and how they may support journalism and future newsrooms.
  • 2012. Awarded Emerging Academic Scholarship by Journalism Education Association of New Zealand (JEANZ) and Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA).
  • 2009. Awarded the 'best research paper' at the International Symposium for Online Journalism in Austin Texas, April 2009, for the case study of Taloussanomat, the Finnish financial daily and its transformation from the print paper to online-only.