Automattic Inc, the parent company of WordPress.com, is joining with other news industry leaders to develop an advanced open-source publishing and revenue-generating platform for news organizations. The effort is designed to address some of the persistent obstacles to creating economically sustainable models for journalism, particularly at the local level.
You can read more about the project, which is named Newspack, below:
Over the past 15 years, WordPress has grown to become the world’s most popular publishing platform for the open web — and it’s especially true for news organizations. Through WordPress.com and our enterprise service WordPress.com VIP, we’re proud to host sites for some of the most trusted names in journalism — from Time.com and CNN to FiveThirtyEight and Quartz, as well as individual sites for reporters and bloggers all around the globe.
Today we’re excited to announce funding for a new platform, Newspack by WordPress.com, aimed at small- and medium-sized news organizations. Google, through the Google News Initiative, is taking the lead in backing the project and has committed $1.2 million. Other funders include The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which is contributing $400,000; ConsenSys, the venture studio backing Civil Media, which is contributing $350,000; and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is contributing $250,000. An additional $200,000 from a fifth source is expected to be contributed toward the project later this month.
News organizations interested in being part of the pilot launch can go to newspack.blog to learn more.
With many local news organizations struggling to find sustainable models for journalism, we’re seeing a need for an inexpensive platform that provides the technology and support that lets news organizations build their businesses and focus on what they do best — providing critical reporting for their communities. Our hope with Newspack is to give them a platform where they can continue to focus on what they do best, while we focus on providing world-class technology and support across their editorial and business operations.
In addition to WordPress.com parent Automattic, partners in the project include Spirited Media, which operates local digital news sites in Denver, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and News Revenue Hub, a spinoff of Voice of San Diego, which provides revenue solutions for digital publishers.
For more information, and to sign up for email updates, signup below:
A huge thank you to all who applied to become charter participants in the development of the program! The Newspack team is reviewing all applications and will be responding shortly.