On Monday, Google announced that it has partnered with Automattic Inc., the parent company of WordPress.com, to develop an advanced open-source publishing and revenue-generating platform for news organizations named Newspack. Under the Google News Initiative, they have invested $1.2 million towards their efforts in building this platform.
The purpose of this platform is to help journalists put their full energy in covering stories instead of worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSes, or building commerce systems. Google mentioned in the post, “It is trying to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions that may divert scarce resources. We like to call it “an opinionated CMS:” it knows the right thing to do, even when you don’t.” It will also provide publishers full access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community.
Automattic, in an announcement, called for small and medium-sized digital news organizations to become charter participants in the development of Newspack. If you want to become one of the partners, you can fill in the form issued by Automattic, which is due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (UTC -5:00) on February 1. The platform’s beta version is estimated to be released near the end of July and will be made available to publishers globally later this year.
To get a better idea of the features and capabilities needed by publishers and their business impact, Automattic will be working with Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub. Spirited Media operates local digital news sites in Denver, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and News Revenue Hub provides revenue solutions for digital publishers.
In addition to Google, other funding organizations for this platform include The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, ConsenSys, the organization backing Civil Media, and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.