Internews has launched a free website constructor for use by local news media. News Templ is designed to improve the online presence of cash-strapped news outlets operating in towns and cities across Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Its advantage over a basic website template from services like WordPress or Squarespace is that it is tailor-made for media websites, offering seven distinct templates and 14 ready-to-install plugins (such as Paypal Donations and Google XML Sitemaps) that are useful for online news publications. However, it is built on the free and open source WordPress platform, which has a large community of users who can be helpful with advice when needed.
Using the user-friendly constructor, creation of a new website takes just 20-30 minutes. News Templ can be used to customize and adapt a new website to the needs of individual outlets, and it has a built-in content management system that makes drafting, editing, and posting multimedia and interactive content fast and intuitive. Instructions for using News Templ will be available in Romanian, Ukrainian, Georgian and English.
¨Many local media outlets in the region are losing their potential audiences and are unable to keep up with highly subsidized foreign competitors because of poorly designed websites that are hard to update without constant expert IT assistance,” says Angela Sirbu, who oversees this effort. “The News Templ constructor will help local media adopt innovative formats of engaging online journalism and attract new audiences.”
Internews’ partners in this initiative include the Independent Journalism Center (Moldova), Internews Ukraine and Internews Georgia. For more information please contact Oleg Gant, the constructor’s administrator.