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Newspack could solve one of WordPress’ problems

WordPress-for-newsrooms could help small publishers avoid the IT guy.

There’s a problem with WordPress: it’s too complicated for the typical small business owner. It’s also too complicated for the typical small news publisher.

So it’s exciting to hear that Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Lenfest Institute for Journalism, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Civil Media are all contributing financially to an effort by WordPress creator Automattic to create Newspack. Google calls it “a fast, secure, low-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of small newsrooms”.

This sums it up nicely:

Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems. Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them. So while Newspack publishers will have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the core product is not trying to be all things to all publishers. 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 be exciting to see the finished product. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come: easy-to-use installments of WordPress.

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  1. RealBasics.com says

    For $1000-$2000 a month subscription fee NewsPack had better be pretty $%!# easy to operate.

    Actually though, for $24,000 the average small newsroom could get a VERY good site built for them by any of tens of thousands of professional WordPress developers. So I’m guessing a large part of the monthly fee will be hosting, bandwidth, and server optimization rather than actual software.

    Looking forward to seeing the final product though. It could be very promising for newsrooms.

  2. dumitrubrinzan says

    This is probably one of the undisclosed reasons why Gutenberg (the new editor in 5.0) was pushed so aggressively by Matt to be released in December 2018 right before the holidays.

    They had to be able to brag with a “modern content editor” when talking about this new venture. So to make their lives easier, they decided to spit on accessibility and community concerns, just to fit their commercial schedule.

    I’m still waiting for a much larger announcement than this, this is just the beginning.

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