$2.4 million for Digital News Startups in NewsPack, by WordPress de

Digital platform WordPress and its parent company Automattic has secured $2.4m for a project called Newspack that will develop a next-generation publishing platform according to a press release published by the company.

Companies including Spirited media, News Revenue Hub, WordPress, Google, Consensus, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will work together to develop an open-source publishing platform for news companies.

The platform will be developed on WordPress.com’s cloud-based platform and incorporate many of the best practices in digital publishing.

The team will deliver a robust proof of concept with a dozen news websites by July 2019, then they are planning to expand up to 60 sites by early 2020.

Right now, NewsPack is receiving proposals for small and medium-sized digital news organizations, “whether local, single topic, or general interest,” to apply to the project.

„Many smaller news startups struggle with the complexities of technology selection, development, maintenance, hosting, and security, which in turn can be an obstacle to effective revenue generation,“ the press release highlighted. „And there is currently no common, cost-effective solution that allows best-in-class tools to be easily shared among different news concerns.“

As the press release said, „local newsrooms face many obvious challenges, but we do see new examples of success,“ said Jim Albrecht, director of news ecosystem products at Google. „Unfortunately, the innovation in technology, editorial focus, and monetization necessary to achieve this success lies beyond the reach of many small organizations. By funding Newspack, we hope to extend the best practices of these market leaders to local publishers generally.“

The goal of the project is to help small digital published to address the issues mentioned above. They aim to „provide them with an affordable system that incorporates the best editorial and business practices from across the industry.“