Newspaper archives as a regional memory bank

A Finnish journalist Matti Lintulahti has started a blog (via). He writes (in Finnish) on how the free on-line archives of newspapers can work as a revenue source but also on how they can be an important source of regional memories. In his column he hopes that Finnish newspapers would open up their archives, if even at a delay of a few days.

I’ve been disappointed by how most Finnish news sources present their content on the web. Feeds are a thing to dream of, and most content is hidden behind subscriptions. Our local newspaper, Karjalainen, offers some of its content for free – something I’ve used earlier as a source when I’ve discussed happening in our neck of the woods. However, the archives are far from having all of the content on-line, but at least it’s a start.

And by the way, I recommend following Lintulahti’s blog if Finnish is your thing.

The Finnish blog awards

The voting for last years best Finnish (not necessarliy in Finnish) blogs (Kultainen Kuukkeli) is open. There’s also a blog related to the whole process. The voting takes place in Finnish and you need a valid email address to complete the voting process.

I wrote the code that takes care of the voting process, PHP’s ability to accept arrays from a form helped minimize the amount of code that was needed. Some JavaScript is also used to identify the title entered by the user and automatically fill an URL. In case your wondering how the JavaScript matching works, it looks for the shortest title that begins with the text entered. If no titles match, then the first title that has the entered text as a substring will be used. For example, entering jalo will match The Life of Jalo and entering randomf will match this blog (at its old address).

Now go vote, you have until March 27!