The Knight Foundation is Paying 24 Newsrooms to Upgrade Their Websites. 20 Choose WordPress.
The Knight Foundation is a charitable organization with deep roots in the news world. The foundation was started by two brothers, James and John Knight. They were part of Knight-Ridder, which was one of the largest newspaper chains in the US.
The Knight Foundation now invests heavily in supporting journalism. They've just awarded grants worth $2 million to 24 newspapers. The goal is to help with “the adoption or management of a digital publishing system … with the aim of increasing revenue, membership and audience engagement.”
Applications opened in February and the winners were announced last week.
Almost every winner chose WordPress. 20 out of 24 winners will be spending their grants on moving to WordPress, or upgrading their WordPress platform.
Here are some of the winners. They are a very diverse group:
Qué Pasa Media run sites for the Spanish-speaking local community in North Carolina. They're currently using an old version of Drupal and want to migrate to WordPress.
The Atlanta Voice is over 50 years old and is the largest African American community newspaper in Georgia.
The Bangor Daily News is over 130 years old (!). They still publish physical papers but now consider themselves a digital-first newsroom.
Muslim.co is just over year old and is a news outlet, media publication and a community for millennial and Gen-Z Muslims.
This speaks very positively to the popularity, affordable cost and ease-of-use of WordPress. We are seeing WordPress become the dominant publishing platforms for newsrooms in Canada and the United States.
You can see the full list of winners here. You'll notice many of the winners are marked “Newspack”. That is the Automattic product that we featured earlier this year and also reviewed.
Here's our interview with Steve Beatty from the Newspack team: