A Finnish news publisher, Sanoma Digital, has launched a user-generated news website and solicits material that gets published in a a series of weekly free newspapers.
Launched last month, Vartti.fi is a fledgling project that allows users to break news by uploading multimedia content direct to the site. Vartti editors also publish story threads on the website and ask for multimedia submissions from the readers – setting them deadlines for their contributions. The stories are then published in a series of ultra-local weekly papers distributed in and around the Helsinki area. ‘With the Jokela High School shooting we had one of the first pictures in Finland [from the scene] which was taken on a mobile phone, we then sold it on to publications in Norway and Sweden,’ Janne Kaijarvi, editor-in-chief of Vartti, told Journalism.co.uk. The site also broke news about a train fire in Helsinki, Kaijarvi added, with reporters first finding out about the incident when a passenger uploaded a picture to the site from inside the train. Contributors are paid for pictures that make it into the print edition, usually in the region of 50 euros.