Publishing-software company Automattic is launching a new publishing platform for small- and medium-sized news organizations. It’s called Newspack, and it uses blockchain technology. The company, which is most famous for its blogging and content tool WordPress, is starting a pilot for the new platform by the end of July 2019. After the trial period operating costs for the platform are between $1000 and $2000 per month per outlet.
The platform is mainly aimed at journalism on a local level. Newspack is designed to address some of the obstacles that hinder media publications to become economically sustainable. Newspack is made for textual, audio and video news reporting, but for now that focus is on textual news.
Some features in Newspack are based on blockchain technology. One of these is Civil Media’s Publisher plugin. This tool allows for archiving content on a decentralized network. It will also serve as ‘a portal for community-vetted and approved newsrooms’.
The new platform is backed by 2.4 million dollars. Google News Initiative is the leading investor with $1.2 million. Other companies contributing are The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Ethereum venture studio Consensys and their partner Civil Media, the Knight Foundation and an anonymous source that’s yet to be revealed.
Also published on Medium.