We started KinshiPress because high-quality journalism is really important, and almost all new, high-quality journalism uses WordPress. The Cardinal News is a great new example from Virginia that launched in early 2022.
They have a staff of five journalists, all of whom work remotely. The site is online-only and non-profit. They cover southwest Virginia, an area that is so rural that the writers struggle to get reliable internet at home.
The Cardinal News team are taking donations via WooCommerce and are off to a good start:
“The e-commerce channel has worked very well for us. People opt-in for our newsletter, and many donate small, monthly amounts,” said Rife. “We are surprised by how quickly The Cardinal News has become known throughout the state. Richmond has the second-largest number of our readers, and many say it’s because they are looking for different coverage.”
Do you want to live in beautiful Prince Edward Sound in Alaska?
We have the opportunity for you: The Cordova Times is 108 year old WordPress-based local newspaper and it is available for free. The small weekly in remote South-Central Alaska (only accessible by boat or plane) has won a lot of awards including “Alaska’s Best Weekly” for two years in a row.
The newspaper sells advertising and also subscriptions: “The Cordova Times is $2 an issue or $104 for the whole year. Price includes delivery via U.S.P.S. Local Cordovans can choose to have their paper delivered to their door by a local paper delivery kid.”
The Nieman Lab has a story up today about what it’s like to launch a newspaper. The writer launched his paper called Lookout in California 18 months ago and has an interesting story to tell. They aren’t using WordPress, but he’s part of a group of publishing start-ups and many of them are, including LBPost.com and ColoradoSun.com.
This a very practical article about the nitty-gritty of getting launched. Here’s a key quote:
With one common mission — to pay more talented journalists to produce incisive, community-bettering journalism — we no longer need to debate what’s going to pay for it. The two main funding drivers are the ones that have driven journalism for centuries. First, advertising: Display, sponsorship, branded content, promoted content, new “classifieds,” or whatever. Second, circulation: Subscription, membership or underwriting. We can now add philanthropy to the mix too. (You could add “events” as well, but those are really member or ad support.)
This items line up well with our article on Civil Beat in Hawaii. Their goal is “25% small donors, 25% larger local donors, 25% institutional giving and 25% ads and sponsorships.”
Mississippi Today is a non-profit that started in 2016 with a focus on statehouse government. They’ve grown over the last few years and now also focus on education, public health, justice and the environment.
Mississippi Today is a success story now one of the largest newsrooms in Mississippi. One of their goals is “proving that free, nonpartisan news is the antidote to apathy and an essential key to government accountability.”
If you asked me to pick one new WordPress publisher that I follow and admire most, it would be probably be The Narwhal. Since 2018, they’ve grown to over 4,500 members because of the quality of their content on their WordPress platform.
The Narwhal publishes around one post per day, and they are more about quality than quantity. Their team write, plus also produce videos, podcasts and photo essays. Across all these mediums, they demonstrate a consistent style and heart.