What’s Happening:

Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, is poised to launch Newspack, an open-source publishing and revenue-generating platform for news organizations. Newspack is designed to address some of the most persistent obstacles to creating economically sustainable models for journalism, and will focus particularly on small and medium sized organizations that specialize in local news. Civil, a community-owned journalism network based on transparency and trust, will be a key element that will be natively integrated into this WordPress toolkit.

Why it Matters:

Independent newsrooms around the world are working to monetize, create value and become economically viable. Cooperative models of community journalism, such as Civil, prioritize journalistic integrity and help newsrooms work together for sustainability and success. As part of the new Newspack platform, this will give independent and local publishers more tools at their disposal in this endeavor.

“We’re building a community of independent newsrooms from around the world and making it easy for them to access emerging technologies that can help with sustainability and engagement initiatives,” said Matthew Iles, chief executive officer at Civil. “Our mission is to use open source technologies to help support a large and diverse network of quality news organizations around the world, and we can imagine no better partner in this initiative.”

Digging Deeper:

News organizations who use Newspack will have seamless access to Civil’s tools, which include:

  • Publisher allows newsrooms to permanently archive content in decentralized, tamper-proof storage environments; and will also introduce new licensing and syndication opportunities for publishers and creators.
  • Registry is a community-managed hub that lists the newsrooms who have been vetted for producing ethical journalism and make up the Civil network.

The Bottom Line:

Newspack and Civil are two platforms with promising technologies to advance the causes of independent newsrooms. Automattic is looking for pilot partners to be among the first to use Newspack; find out more about the application process, which closes on February 1, at the website.

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