Is the future of local news in peril? It might look like a painful demise of the local newspaper, but the ending is not yet written. The closure might bring some catastrophic repercussions.
Almost 1800, newspapers closed in the last 15 years and tens of thousands of journalists left in the decade ending 2017. Canada and Britain consider this as a ‘danger to democracy’.
Newsroom employment declined almost 40% between the decade of ‘1994-’2014. We know that News writer blends together the right mix of product features, writing experience and publish their stories to the readers.
“Newspapers with long histories have had to cut back on staff and reduce coverage and reporters who try to start new digital publications face an interminable struggle with technical and business problems. It just doesn’t make sense, for instance, that every team of local reporters should have to invent the right mix of product features, get world-class tech and user experience talent, and then turn it all into the perfect bespoke publishing system to get their stories to readers.”
The loss is irreplaceable. It might lead to more government waste, more local corruption, less effective schools, and more. We also know that local news are not much popular as much as the national press, but their role is really important. The decline of a local newsroom is thus a troublesome trend.
Instead, the rise of the digital world should help local writers to contribute and generate revenue from blogs and online publications.
Google reiterated journalism and is now partnering with WordPress to invest $1.2 million to create a platform called Newspack.
An excerpt from Google says “Newspack is a fast,secure,local-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of the small newsroom”
To support the Google News initiative, Lenfest Institute of journalism($400,000), the John S and James L. Knight Foundation ($250,000)and Civil media together contributed another $1million. The funding will be used during the first year of the initiative.
This is a great opportunity for small news organizations to make a strong impact online. Everything will be streamlined with the WordPress version and every tool will be configured in the most effective way for online journalism. The journalists only need to focus just on creating great editorial work.
The platform is facilitated with incorporating website design,CMS configuration, and commerce systems. The only aim behind the creation of this news platform is to reduce the time journalists spend juggling with the site and add more time to finding great resources for the content.
As described by Google, 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.”
All WordPress plugins and WordPress support packages will be supported on Newspack initially charging a minimal amount month.
“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.”
Automattic/WordPress will partner with Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub to ensure that the features incorporated with the intention to help publishers are actually working. It will create metrics that will measure the business impact of all those features.
Newspack is planned to roll out later this year but a prospect who is eager to try it out has a window for early sign-up.
It is expected that the launch will happen in July this year(2019). The platform has power-pact forces who are putting a lot of efforts to ensure that the platform succeed. It will still be a question whether this Newspack helps to reduce cost and increase revenue for small and medium-sized organizations and eases out the work for WordPress Development company.
Google plays a major role in advising and providing technical support on the Newspack feature set and integration of Google Product after reviewing the feedback from the local publisher.
Automattic offers the premium WordPress service which is enterprise-grade, optimized for security and scalability. It promises to make Newspack the best combination of editorials and business practices.
To end, Automattic editor Mark Armstrong said, “Our hope with Newspack is to give [publications] a platform where they can continue to focus on what they do best, while we focus on providing world-class technology and support across their editorial and business operations”.