Byline Times had a wish-list of layout features, so Yes we work developed those and added some workflow tools to help the small newsroom team collaborate efficiently.
Byline Times said it worked very well, and that it would be very useful for other publications.
So the collection of features and tools became Newsplate.
To test and improve Newsplate, we next used it to build digital publications for a UK network of volunteer regional groups reporting on how national decisions (in this case, Brexit) affect local communities. It worked well. They could manage their websites autonomously, and went from zero to a million views in a matter of months.
We installed Newsplate on several other editorial websites, including one aimed at engaging visitors in an NHS-run regional smoking cessation programme. Again, it worked well.
We’ve been lucky to get real-world feedback from different levels of journalism, and to use Newsplate ourselves on a daily basis.
Bugs have been fixed and improvements made; ideas have become features, and features have been used in ways we hadn’t imagined…
Newsplate is now ready for wider use on everything from newsstand titles to hyper-local community websites, by individuals, small teams of reporters, or by busy newsrooms.
By offering “all the capability of high end publishing framework for a fraction of the price” at a time when so much power and money is so tightly concentrated, we hope Newsplate can also play its part in making journalism more sustainable, more independent, more accountable and more useful to our collective society.