On April 8th 2020, Finnish weekly Suomen Kuvalehti had a scoop claiming that the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency had purchased face masks via two Finnish agents worth a combined 10 million euros (Liski, 2020). The procured Chinese masks appeared to be unsuitable for hospital use due to their low quality. According to the report, partners of the deal were a businessman who ran a quick-loans company before running heavily into debt, a beauty-sector entrepreneur and a convicted white-collar criminal (Yle News, 2020).
This study is aimed at unpacking and analysing the construction of the media event, specifically on the interplay and dynamics between social media and mass media and the public reactions evoked by Mask Gate in Finland. Our aim is to describe the important turning points along the emergence and development of this media event. By understanding the construction of a media event in a hybrid media space, we can learn more about how such media events may influence the public understandingand interpretation of the events. This is especially important in times of societal crises, when the sense of psychological security is at stake, necessitating access to the best evidence-based information.