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The Candidate Gallery

An application that combines video interviews of almost all candidates for Finnish parliament.

Description

The candidate gallery is a new way to decide who you vote in elections. Although it has been possible to compare different candidates in election machines for a long time, the goal of election gallery was to get closer for that what the candidates really think and how they perform.

The election gallery is journalistic service in mobile-first time, which contains the interviews of almost all candidates in Finland’s parliament election in spring 2015.

The goal was to get opinions and arguments from candidates. With election gallery it was wanted that voters get a view that there are alternatives in democracy.

The election gallery is a combination of equality and tailoring as the candidates were interviewed in the same way – 4 minutes and one take – and the editorial work was not made in assembly line. The backgrounds of each candidate were investigated and the questions were chosen based on investigation.

Origin

The main idea was to give data that was gathered with election machine a new life with video interviews.
Originally election gallery was made to EU parliament election in 2014, but this time it was wanted to be made in national level – for Finland’s parliament election – for a first time.

Data

Candidates answered to 35 political statements on a five-level scale (strongly disagree – strongly agree) in election machine. The machine compares user’s answers to the candidate’s and calculates whose views are closest or farthest. The election gallery revealed the candidate behind the data.

Resources

A variable amount of journalists participated in from eight different localities.

The core team consisted of four members, one main producer, one head of production, one main director, and a producer who was responsible from techics.

Additionally, a subcontract company was used to construct the election machine.

The work of core team started in October, 2014. In March 11th, 2015, the candidate gallery was published. Total work time was six man-years.

Impact

Eventually, the election gallery was a success. The total amount of view’s was over 4.5 million. All candidates were watched relatively even. In addition, the video clips were watched averagely long, what cannot be said about all web video clips.

The video interviews were a part of election discussion and interviews were topic especially in social media.

Obstacles

As the amount of interviewed was close to 2,000, the journalistic process was put to test. The video interviews had to be equal in terms of quality but not too alike in terms of content.

Some parts were automatized, like the beginning and end tags, and theme. There was a risk of systematic error that if something is wrong it is wrong in all clips.

It was also a logistical challenge as the schedules had to be fitted with almost 2,000 people.

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