The company behind WordPress, Automattic, has launched Newspack in collaboration with Google News Initiative, ConsenSys, Lenfest Institute of Journalism and others, which would serve as a new publishing platform for small and medium-sized news organisations.
WordPress’ VIP enterprise service already hosts websites of bigwigs in journalism, such as Time.com, CNN, Quartz and more and aims to ‘develop advanced open-source publishing and revenue-generating platform for news organisations’.
Newspack by WordPress will launch in beta near the end of July 2019.
News organisations looking to apply to Newspack can do so here by filling in the questionnaire. The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on February 1, 2019.
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News organisations whose applications are accepted will be allowed to participate for free during the pilot run of Newspack through January 2020. Following that, a fees of $1000 – $2000 per month will be charged from the participating sites.
“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,” Mark Armstrong, Editor at Automattic stated.
“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.”
Backers of the Newspack project
- Google News Initiative: $1.2 million
- The Lenfest Institute for Journalism: $400,000
- ConsenSys: $350,000
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: $250,000
Automattic is also expecting an additional $200,000 from an undisclosed source by the end of this month.
Other partners in the Newspack project include Spirited Media (operates digital news websites out of Denver, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and News Revenue Hub, which helps digital publishers to find revenue solutions.
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