Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 5.16.04 PMHow to use video tools for data visualizations? How to provide journalism to children in a fun way? Will an SMS payment system get people pay for long-form journalism on tablet devices? How to make hyperlocal news matter? How can weekly local art dosage on mobile create meaningful experiences?

Come and hear the answers from the five finalist teams in News Pioneer innovation challenge, who will be presenting their projects at Stanford on May 6th at 5pm.

The event is organized by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, which runs the Uutisraivaaja Innovation Challenge in Finland. Uutisraivaaja translates into a ‘News Pioneer.’

The challenge funds media innovations up to $320,00. The five teams, which will be presenting, have been chosen as finalists in this year’s Uutisraivaaja challenge, and they are competing for the main award. The event starts with snacks, networking and drinks at 5pm. Pitching starts 6pm and goes until 7.15pm, after which a tour at will be provided.

Here’s are the project descriptions:

Pallopostia – News service for children

Pallopostia project creates an open, safe, free, easily accessible digital news service for children aged 6-17. Accessible via mobile devices (i.e. tablets and touch-screen-phones) Pallopostia will bring the world closer to children in small conceivable pieces. At its best it will help children in building their identity and self-esteem. It will serve all children in Finland and eventually it can be launched in other countries as well. – New tool for datajournalism: Data processing and interactive visualizations is a web based infographic creator. Aimed at newsrooms and journalists it provides variety of super-easy data visualization tools for online and offline publishing. is working on new interactive ways to present data in online news media. Along with the tool is also a publishing platform for data stories produced by journalists and bloggers.

OnDisplay – Provides a weekly art dosage with social layer

OnDisplay is a mobile gallery aimed at creating a new forum for art criticism. It combines art journalism, art education and audio guide into an application that is simple to maintain and easy to use. It offers reviews of individual works of art hand-picked by professional critics. In addition to the written articles the application lets it’s user to view the artwork and listen to an audio guide specially produced for each work. The location and visitor information are also available through the OnDisplay interface. The first phase of the project creates the mobile application in cooperation with the local critics, galleries and museums in Helsinki. The second phase will open the application for user generated content, developing the portal of arts criticism into a social media of visual arts. There are thousands of artworks displayed annually in Helsinki – OnDisplay finds among them the works that may change your life.

Long Play: Platform for long-form feature journalism publishing and payment system

Long Play is a new kind of digital publisher. LP publishes one well-developed piece of long-form narrative journalism per month. Our ‘singles’ are longer than magazine articles but shorter than books. We specialize in investigative journalism and feature writing.
LP is also an experiment in finding a new business model for investigative journalism, which is suffering in the age of severe newsroom cuts. Our model is called direct reader funding, as we sell our ‘singles’ directly to readers for the price of a cup of coffee. We believe that there are enough people who are willing to support the production of high quality journalism with a few euros every month. LP currently publishes in Finnish, and we plan to translate some of our stories into other languages, most importantly Swedish and English.

Nearhood– making local communities flourish
We believe that local is the next big trend in globalized world, however digital services for local communities are still underdeveloped. Nearhood collects together all locally relevant information to be easily accessible by local residents, creates a social platform which strengthens local communities and opens new, efficient and real-time marketing and sales channel for locally operating businesses. We create solutions by which we refine raw material of the service into relevant aggregates by using both volunteer editors and machine intelligence. By opening our platform to other services we aim at creating an ecosystem of local digital and physical services. Local isn’t just about discussions, it is also about services. – For more information, see our company website

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