Neighborhood Journal is a New WordPress-Based Publisher in Arizona

Neighborhood Journal is a really interesting experiment in New Mexico, and it is using WordPress of course.

It’s a new digital news product that focuses on neighborhood-level news in three “zones” in Albuquerque. The publication aims to foster a “community feeling within the city.” The organization’s website, NeighborhoodJournal.com, will offer free access through June 30. Starting July 1, it will be available to subscribers for $4.95 per month.

Click here for details on the launch of Neighborhood Journal.

Washington City Paper is WordPress-Only after 41 Years

The Washington City Paper newspaper is ending its print edition after 41 years. The paper lives on via a member-supported WordPress site now.

The City Paper team published a long and beautifully-written article about the transition from print to digital:

From a technical standpoint, my generation of City People has a significantly easier time producing print issues than our predecessors did, assembling our issues with trackpads and keyboard commands while they used knives and paste. In the paper’s nascent days, when it was still produced in Baltimore, the staff sent pages and materials back and forth on a massive fax machine. That was an improvement, former publisher Amy Austin says, over the previous method: On Monday nights, she used to deliver the necessary files to the Greyhound bus station, where they would be ferried north.

The City Paper website runs on Newspack from Automattic. They take memberships via FundJournalism.org. Here’s their pitch to subscribers:

Washington City Paper is your source for local news. Since 1981, our journalism and events have connected D.C. natives and newcomers to the District and to each other.  With the support of our members, we’re exploring the city we all love—investigating corruption and exposing wrongdoing, analyzing the District’s biggest issues, holding elected officials accountable, and at the same time shining a light on our rich food, arts, and sports scenes with award-winning design and photography.

Washington City Paper is WordPress-Only after 41 Years

Newspapers Sold to Corporate Owners Publish 68% Less Local News

This article from Nieman Lab is a good summary of why local publishers matter (and WordPress is their main tool).

The article is a summary of a research paper. To sum it up in a sentence: When papers are sold to corporate owners, the number of local articles can fall by 68%.

1. Acquisition leads to a significant, but not disproportional, decrease in the volume of local content produced by local newspapers;

2. Coverage of local places in the periods following acquisition is significantly more concentrated than coverage in the periods prior to acquisition;

3. Articles produced to be shared across regional hubs of newspapers are significantly less local—and discursively more national—than articles unique to a given newspaper.

This is the reason that we feature so many exciting new WordPress-based publishers on this site. Almost all of them are locally owned and operated. WordPress publishers are filling the gap left by old newspapers that are falling under corporate ownership.

Quartz Drops the Paywall and Tries Newsletters for WordPress Publishing

Quartz is a WordPress publisher that is taking down their paywall. They’ve been going 10 years now and have gone through a few different business models. It looks like they’re moving to selling ads and also premium newsletters.

This post explains the thinking behind Quartz’s move.

They now send out two premium newsletters per week and the cost is around $7 to $10 per month. Their pitch is “Our member-only newsletters give you concise analysis, forecasts, profiles, and advice in your inbox throughout the week”.

These are the two newsletters:

  • The Weekend Brief—offering analysis and insights on one big news item of the week, plus the best of Quartz.
  • The Forecast—a look at emerging industries and trends around the corner.
Quartz Drops the Paywall and Tries Newsletters for WordPress Publishing

Moonshine Ink, a WordPress Publisher in California Explains The Future of Their Local News

I got talking to a publisher in California this week: Moonshine Ink in California. They have been publishing for over 20 years. They’re currently WordPress-based, with a print edition. We chatted because they use the PublishPress Authors plugin that our team develop.

What particularly stood out to me with Moonshine Ink was the wonderful job they do of explaining of why their local news is worth supporting.

I highly recommend this post from 2019: “Does Moonshine Ink Have a Future?” and also this post from 2022: “Reflections and Projections”. Also check out this welcome post for their summer intern.

This quote sums up what Moonshine Ink does:

“Moonshine Ink serves the Truckee/North Tahoe region, a place of unimaginable beauty and inconceivably complex government. In our coverage area, there are two states, five counties (more or less), 19 special districts, and special cases, like the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. It’s a jurisdictional quagmire. Over the years, we’ve been the only media to “poke the bear” and investigate local government to the point where we really pissed people off. In my mind, this is a good thing.