Yes, that’s $1 billion with a ‘B’ that Google pledged for local, regional news

Given that the news is so recent, we can’t yet tell you whether you qualify or where to sign up, but Google today promised $1 billion in support of local and regional news outlets worldwide.

The coming Google News Showcase will let publishers better feature how their stories and related items will show up in Google News. Some visual examples are in the links below. More importantly, Google will pay publishers for their work. Again, details are sparse. The rollout today was only in Brazil and Germany, showing up in Google News only on Android devices. More operating systems and countries are on their way.

Here’s Google CEO Sundar Pichai announcing it. We like how this post is filed under “outreach.” And here are takes from TechCrunch, Axios and Reuters, who reminds us that a British pound is still worth more than a dollar.

The Newspack Newsletter will keep you up to date as we learn more, or you can keep an eye on the newspack-community Slack channel.


You’re welcome to use a free tool for looking up all races, issues on a ballot

Courtesy of the Chicago Reporter and the American Press institute, all Newspack members are able to use — for free — a powerful ballot-lookup tool called Newspack Election Kit. Publishers, ask your technical account manager to set this up for you. Huge thanks to Fernando Diaz and Will English IV, both formerly of the Chicago Reporter. This project could have easily fallen by the wayside without their determined support and effort. Willpower, even.

See the plugin in action here.

Yes, this is brand new and pretty cool. No, it doesn’t have everything that people have asked for — yet. Watch Slack for updates on features and capabilities that may be added in the next month, including links to campaign finance info.


But wait — there’s more election stuff

The folks at HiGeorge are offering Newspack publishers the use of their superb elections data visualizations from now until Election Day for $199, a $100 break from their usual cost.

The package includes voter registration data, aggregated polling information where it’s available and campaign finance information, in some cases down to the county level.  Watch a demo video here. 

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the offer, give us a heads up in the Slack channel #higeorge.

We’d also like to gauge your interest in the other topical data they already have or plan to offer, such as COVID and crime stats. If there’s an appetite, we’ll see what we can do to cut a broader deal with them for Newspack publishers.


Changelog: Several new choices for you in the Newsletter Plugin

Thanks again for the suggestions to improve Newspack. A few requests were answered this week with the update to your Newsletter Plugin.

Your authors can now get some newsletter love, and you can better choose which posts you want in a Post Inserter block, using categories and tags, as well as excluding categories and tags.


On the near horizon: Easy listings

Newspack team members Derrick Koo and Joe Boydston have made great progress on an effort to bring you an easy way to put together structured lists. We’re not quite ready to push it out just yet, but we want you to see what’s there and ask for your feedback. Derrick gave a terrific presentation during this week’s publishers call. Jump to the 14 minute mark to watch here. Send your thoughts to derrick.koo@automattic.com

Here’s a peek, though it doesn’t do justice to the work in progress:

Archive of our calls

If you’d like to catch up on our Tuesday calls, they’re collected here for your enjoyment.

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