In order to develop a low-cost system specifically designed to publish local news, Google is partnering with Automattic/WordPress.

Google stated in an announcement that it invested 1.2 million into creating the Newspack platform.

The development on Newspack will begin in the coming weeks.  The finished product will become available to publishers worldwide later this year.

Newspack is being developed in an effort to help journalists do more of what they do best – covering news.

“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.”

Publishers who are on Newspack will gain access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, but it isn’t designed to satisfy the needs of all publishers.  To be specific, it is meant to help small publishers write more stories while also adhering to Google’s best practices.

“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.”

Automattic is going to work with Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub in order to assist in publisher’s success.  This partnership will help them better understand what contributes to publishers success and measure the business impact of features and capabilities offered by Newspack.

Google will be advising on the Newspack feature set, as well as provide technical support on the integration of Google products.

Newspack is also receiving funding from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Civil Media collectively contributing another $1 million.

SourceMatt Southern