Google Invests $1.2M To Develop Publishing Platform With WordPress, Others

Google announced Monday an investment of $1.2 million to create a news publishing platform with Automattic/WordPress.

The platform, called Newspack, aims to provide “a fast, secure, low-cost publishing system” for small newsrooms.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Civil Media also collectively contributed another $1 million to the project.

In this project, Google also steps into an advisory role, aside from becoming a financial backer. The platform is being created to help small publishers that follow Google’s best practices write articles without having to worry about technical issues of publishing.

“Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems,” Jim Albrecht, product management director of search at Google, wrote in a blog post. “Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them.”

The idea of the platform is to help small publishers succeed by building in best practices suggested by Google.

Publishers using Newspack will have access to plugins created by the WordPress developer community.

Automattic will work with Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub to understand what contributes to the success of publishers. They also will work on developing tools that help publishers measure the business impact of offered by Newspack.

Albrecht expects that Newspack will begin development in the coming weeks. It is scheduled to become available to publishers globally later in the year.

"The Newspack project takes another step — following on our 
Google News Initiative Cloud Program and GNI/YouTube innovation funding — towards our goal of local news sustainability by providing critical pieces of technology at high quality and low cost," Albrecht wrote.

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