Journalists Are Launching and Leading New WordPress Publishers

A few months ago, I wrote about the Lede platform from Alley Interactive. They’ve helped launch the highly-successful Defector and Block Club Chicago sites.

One of the many things to admire about Lede is that they actively help journalists lead and own their work. This next quote is how Lede describe themselves:

“Lede isn’t just another self-serve internet platform. We act as an incubator for the upstart journalist-led publishers.

Fast Company had a great introduction to these new publishers. Here are some of other WordPress-powered publishers in that article:

  • Aftermath, a new gaming publisher, built by writers from the old Kotaku.
  • The Colorado Sun, launched by writers of the downsized Denver Post.
  • The Racket, owned by writers from the closed CityPages.
  • Hell Gate, founded by journalists frustrated by New York media layoffs.

Several of these publishers are Lede clients. You’ll notice also that most of these start-ups are growing out of the ashes of older publications. In 2023, news is dying and being reborn.

The stand-out success so far is Defector, which is owners by former Deadspin journalists. Here’s a quote from the Forbes article:

Editorial freedom costs a lot more time and effort than most readers might suspect. The radical transparency of Defector’s annual financial report offers both a blueprint for aspiring worker-owned media companies, and a frank warning about how much toil and business savvy are required to execute successfully .. As more writers and editors either branch off from brand-name publications or start from scratch, the more the actual best practices of this process will become apparent.

WordPress is the perfect platform for journalist-owned publishers. It’s affordable, flexible, and you own every pixel of the content you produce.

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