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“Se ogni giorno non avessimo da riempiere 60 pagine del giornale cartaceo, faremmo certamente un miglior quotidiano online”, dice il direttore della testata finlandese Helsingin Sanomat: video e microblog per essere più appetibili

“Se non avessimo da curare la versione cartacea, saremmo migliori nel digitale”, parola di Päivi Anttikoski, editor-in-chief dell’Helsingin Sanomat, quotidiano finlandese. “Abbiamo da riempiere 60 pagine ogni giorno – continua Anttikoski – e questo porta a pubblicare storie di bassa qualità o scarso interesse”.Le testate online, come per esempio NowThis News, possono pubblicare circa 60 video al giorno, mentre l’Helsingin Sanomat si può permettere di metterne online massimo 2 al giorno. Per cambiare le cose, si legge su Journalism.co.uk [1], servirebbero idee nuove, come per esempio il ripensamento della home page, suggerito da Esa Mäkinen, news editor for data and interactives. L’aggiunta di video, che si possono azionare direttamente dalla home page, e l’introduzione di microblog sono delle ‘dritte’ che la testata può prendere in considerazione per rendere la versione online più appetibile.

“Oltre a questo, però – fanno sapere dall’Helsingin Sanomat – serve ripensare il nostro prodotto, ovvero l’articolo. Dobbiamo provare nuovi formati: se nessun altro li ha, sono proprio questi che devono venire a cercare te”.


Paivi Anttikoski (Foto Twitter)

A legacy problem: The Helsingin Sanomat approach to digital news
“We would be better at digital if we didn’t have to produce the paper,” says editor-in-chief.

In the newsroom of Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, print still comes first. The outlet’s legacy is now one of its biggest problems standing in the way of maintaining a mobile-first mindset in its day-to-day operations.

“We have some 60 pages to fill every day” said Päivi Anttikoski, editor-in-chief, speaking at News Xchange on Thursday.
“If the news situation is not so great, we still have to fill the paper”.
This leads to poor quality stories – an issue many legacy organisations will also come up against, whether they are trying to fill a newspaper on a slow news day or to get video packages on air.

One day in September, 42 per cent of the stories Helsingin Sanomat published on its website generated only 7 per cent of page views, revealed Anttikoski. Having to produce this ‘legacy content’ is “the main reason that keeps us from creating better digital, mobile content”.
“We would be better at digital if we didn’t have to produce the paper”.

Digitally native media organisations like NowThis News, who publishes around 60 videos a day for example, are “lucky” – Helsingin Sanomat can publish twice as many stories a day. So how is the outlet trying to turn things around? Rethinking the home page is one idea on the table, said Esa Mäkinen, news editor for data and interactives.
Adding videos that are playable on the homepage, as well as introducing microblogging segments in the style of the Guardian live blog are some directions the site could go in to make the front page ‘more interesting’.
And Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project is also an interesting proposition, as “we can always take the open source code and make it our own”.

“[But] we need to rethink our core product, the article. We have to come up with something radically new”, said Mäkinen.
“We also have to try new formats”, said Anttikoski, pointing to 360 degree videos as an interesting medium to explore. “If nobody else has it, they have to come to you”.