FloridaPolitics.com is an Independent WordPress-Based Political Publisher

FloridaPolitics.com broke the news this week that the FBI was searching Donald Trump’s house.

Peter Schorsch is the website’s publisher and he broke the news on Twitter. This led to some positive stories about the website, but honestly it’s far from the most interesting thing about FloridaPolitics.com. The news about Trump would have broken anyway, and Schorsch was honest enough to admit: “TBH, Im not a strong enough reporter to hunt this down”.

The story of FloridaPolitics.com is more interesting than this one event. I know this because Peter Schorsch started writing about politics in the town next to me: St Petersburg, Florida.

Peter was involved with local political campaigns and started writing about St Petersburg politics back in 2009. He launched using the WordPress website at SaintPetersBlog.com. He published over 50,000 posts in the next eight years and won a ton of awards for his political coverage. You can read his personal overview of the site here.

In 2017, Peter expanded to FloridaPolitics.com, another WordPress site, but this time with more high-profile domain name that allowed him to expand his coverage site-wide. Peter is still based in St Petersburg but he now has a big team of contributors and writers. The site has podcasts, a print magazine, and several regular newsletters.

This might not be the purest or noblest story we write about on KinshiPress: Peter started his first site as a way to trade political gossip and help clients. But it is an example of how new and independent media startups can and do leverage WordPress to make an impact in industries they are passionate about.

Show Authors on Your WordPress Magazine or Newspaper

You don’t have to work alone in producing content: the best writing is done in a team. If you’re using WordPress for a publication with multiple writers, I recommend that you try the PublishPress Authors plugin. With this plugin you can display the names of everyone involved in your posts. By default, WordPress will only show one user as the author. However, with PublishPress Authors you can show writers, contributors, editors, photographers and more.

Author Boxes for Multiple Authors

After installing PublishPress Authors for free from WordPress.org, an author box will appear below your posts. As you can in this image below, you can list multiple authors in one piece of content. Click here for details on these author boxes.

3 authors displayed in PublishPress Authors

The example below is simple. You can expand on these author profiles. Go to “Authors” in the WordPress admin name and you can fill in the author details with the name, profile, and more. This image below shows the “Boxed” layout with much more information. Click here for author layout details.

Authors boxes in PublishPress Authors

Author Boxes for Guest Writers

If your contributor does not have an account on your website, then they can still get the same credit as regular WordPress users. Guest writers can be assigned as “Authors” even if they don’t have a website username and password. Click here to see how to create guest authors.

Guest Authors in PublishPress Authors

Custom Author Pages

Visitors can easily browse works by specific authors because PublishPress Authors can provide a dedicated page for authors.

The WordPress core has author pages that show posts written by each author. These pages are located at a URL like this one: /author/username/.

PublishPress Authors can support these default author pages. However, PublishPress Authors also offers a more advanced alternative. This image below was created using the “List” view in PublishPress Authors. This new author page has an author box on the top of the screen and the author’s posts underneath. Click here for more on author pages.

Custom Author Pages in PublishPress Authors

Custom Fields for Authors (PRO version)

If you use the Pro version of PublishPress Authors you can add custom fields for your writers. You can add fields to your author profiles. These fields include Text, WYSIWYG, email addresses, specific links, and more. Click here for more on custom fields.

Custom Fields for PublishPress Authors

Layout Options for Authors (Pro version)

When you switch to the Pro version, PublishPress Authors provides five layout options for author profile. You can also create custom layouts for author profiles. This layout editing system uses HTML and PHP so you can customize freely. The inclusion of author information can be more dynamic when using a custom layout. Click here for more on custom layouts.

Custom Layouts for PublishPress Authors

PublishPress Authors Conclusion

PublishPress Authors is a key plugin for enabling multiple contributors and authors on a WordPress site. If you’re interested in purchasing the PRO version of this plugin, you can go to their website directly here: PublishPress Authors.

Verite Launches a Non-Profit Newsroom in New Orleans, Powered by WordPress

Earlier this year, I wrote about Mississippi Today which is a success story for non-profit newsrooms. This week, they’ve launched a new sister organization in New Orleans called Verite.

Both Verite and Mississippi Today are going to be part of a network of mission-driven, local news organizations called “Deep South Today”.

I’ve been blogging about local WordPress-powered news this year. Partly that’s been driven by a gut-feeling that something is exciting is in the early, formative stages. This is the kind of launch that confirms that feeling.

Verite’s Editor-in-Chief Terry Baquet is the brother of Dean Baquet, former editor of the New York Times. Terry published this launch post last week:

Verite is a diverse, Black-led nonprofit news organization that launches today to serve communities in the Greater New Orleans area and beyond.

A key part of Verite’s goals is to mentor young journalists:

We will do this while creating a fellowship program to educate and mentor aspiring minority journalists so they can eventually take their voices and talent to other newsrooms across the state and the nation helping to fill a void that all media organizations are struggling to overcome.

Adweek has good background on this launch. The report that Verite has raised almost $3 million to launch this project. Donors include The Ford Foundation and the American Journalism Project.

Deep South Today is a 501(c) non-profit that is also home to Mississippi Today. Verite and Mississippi Today will share content and resources, and hopefully enable to the launch of more sites across the south. Verite also plans to collaborate with similar newsrooms including Louisiana Illuminator. All these sites (Verite, Mississippi Today and Louisiana Illuminator) are powered by WordPress.

INN Reports Strong Growth for Local News Startups Using WordPress

For five years now, the Institute for Nonprofit News has produce an annual report on the nonprofit news sector. Their 2022 report shows that independent local news is growing strongly. Here are 3 key points from the report:

Since 2017, more than 135 nonprofit news outlets have launched. The number of newsrooms in the INN Network has doubled over the past four years and now exceeds 400 independent news organizations.

More than half of the news outlets that have launched since 2017 are local. Today, roughly 4 in 10 nonprofit news organizations are local, up from about 2 in 10 in 2017.

Nonprofit news is driving sustained, multi-year revenue growth. Two-thirds of news outlets surveyed increased their revenue, with a median of 25% growth during the last four years.

WordPress is the dominant platform for this local news growth. WordPress-powered publishers in this year’s report include Dallas Free Press, Charlottesville Tomorrow, Canopy Atlanta, The Daily Yonder, and more.

The 2022 report also includes a shout-out for the popular Newspack platform:

The Daily Yonder launched a radio program in August 2021 that’s now broadcast by an average of 250 stations per week. Digitally, Daily Yonder continues to use a republication tool developed by INN and managed by NewsPack – a widget that has brought Daily Yonder stories to an additional 480,000 readers each month, a multiplier effect from the outlet’s previous on-site reach.

Click here to find the republication tool on WordPress.org. You can see the plugin in use by clicking the example “Republish this Story” button on this Daily Yonder story.

How Pew Research Use Gutenberg Blocks for Publishing

Seth Rubenstein is the lead developer at Pew Research. He’s been talking lately about their adoption of Gutenberg Blocks for WordPress publishing.

Seth started with a really interesting Twitter thread full of examples:

“For all its naysayers Gutenberg is a game changer for digital news apps. Its a force multiplier for your team. We’ve spent the last 3 years going “all in” on block development. Here’s a little thread of what’s possible with the right investment into Gutenberg..”

Next, Seth took part in an interview that showcased his team’s work with Gutenberg blocks. The practical part of this video starts at the 13 minute mark. If you’re considering using blocks for WordPress publishing, this video is absolutely worth your time.

Seth and his colleague Michael Piccorossi show how they use a mixture of core and custom blocks to build their entire site. They have built custom blocks to create powerful charts and quizzes.