Party papers on the Web

Helsingin Sanomat has a piece on party web magazines, in which representatives from all parties promise to develop whatever services they're currently offering.

Currently only the Centre Party has the best web magazine going in Apila (fi). By contrast, the party organ, Suomenmaa (fi), has a pretty shabby-looking web site that only carries a few stories from the current paper and has nothing in the way of archives that you can browse.

The Social Democratic Party's Ruusuverkko (fi) publishes two to four stories a month, which isn't enough. It also lacks a newspaper-like front page, although the stories do appear on the party website's front page. Of course there's Uutispäivä Demari (fi), the party organ, which has a pretty good website.

For the National Coalition Party, Verkkouutiset (fi) does a good job of reproducing politics-related Finnish News Agency stories with only the occasional editorial thrown in. Aside from the editorials, its Coalitionist leanings sometimes show in stories' headlines and prominence. The party organ, Nykypäivä (fi), provides more opinion pieces and has a nice archive.

The Green League's party organ, Vihreä Lanka (fi), doesn't put all too many of its stories online. The party has no online magazine per se; the closest thing is a blog (fi) which isn't updated all that often. The Left Alliance's party organ Kansan Uutiset (fi). Despite a slightly clumsy design, it offers a decent amount of original news stories and opinion pieces.

The common problems these papers have is that a) they don't provide enough original content (Ruusuverkko, Verkkouutiset, Vihreä Lanka), and b) the web design is pretty poor (Suomenmaa, Kansan Uutiset, Ruusuverkko). Instead of having several papers on the Web, maybe the parties should focus on developing their party organs' online presences. The content is already mostly there; what's lacking are websites that look sharp, offer archives that you can browse, and offer at least some interactive features. Group blogs might also be nice - for examples, see TAPPED, The Corner, or Hit & Run.

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