Finland's leading news agency, STT-Lehtikuva serves newspapers across Finland with news and images about the important events in the country and abroad. The market is relatively small, so their operations need to be efficient and their products profitable.
STT-Lehtikuva was searching for a way to cover events live and create new content to sell to their clients. Live blogging tools appeared to fit the bill.
Pihla Lehmusjoki, head of media services for STT-Lehtikuva, said the agency rejected CoverItLive since that product did not offer syndication.
ScribbleLive looked more promising. "They had a very attractive product to offer but we found Scribble's business model to be difficult for the Finnish market. We were mainly looking for a technical partner, not a deeper business partnership," Lehmusjoki said.
"Also we had issues concerning the content produced with the tool and what kind of rights our media customers would have to their own content production," Lehmusjoki said.
"So these reasons motivated us to look for another, more suitable option," she said.
Sourcefabric proposed a network model built on Sourcefabric's Live Blog. STT-Lehtikuva would manage a central instance that fed content to individual clients' live blogs.
Client news sites can edit the content before publishing, and even use their Live Blog instances for independent coverage.
STT first used Live Blog to cover the Ice Hockey World Championship in May 2013. "Since then we did some Olympic hockey, national political events, party congresses, the wedding of Princess Madeline of Sweden, and the Finnish Independence Day ball," said Harri Juutilainen, producer for pictures and graphics at STT-Lehtikuva, who oversees the agency's Live Blog production.
The ball, known locally as Linnanjuhlat, takes place December 6 of each year. It is a key event for Finnish media and the most-watched event on Finnish television. These audiences were able to follow STT-Lehtikuva reports from the red carpet, online or on their second screens. "In a way, Live Blog let us compete with television for audiences," Juutilainen said.
STT-Lehtikuva has also used Live Blog to provide live coverage of legal trials from inside the courtroom and has been live blogging recent turmoil in Ukraine.
The agency's revenues from Live Blog content are nowhere near those from photos or other services, but the live blogs are profitable, Juutilainen said. "Our clients seem to be quite happy with it. The embed is working very well. It's easy for them to use because we are providing the content to the embed," he said.
Lehmusjoki acknowledged that it was a gamble for the agency to partner an open-source project, but one that paid off. "We were aware of the potential risks involving in going for a tool that was technically in an early developing state," Lehmusjoki said. "But we have had very good cooperation with Sourcefabric, and I believe we have both been beneficial to each other, so it has been a win-win situation."
We're proud to count STT-Lehtikuva as a member of the Live Blog community. We'd like to include your newsroom as well.