Next Steps for Core Publisher

Dec 13, 2017

We’d like to share an update on NPR’s plans for the ongoing support of Core Publisher and for its eventual replacement.

Summary:

As part of our commitment to building out the Digital Network and better aligning our national and local digital strategies and resources, NPR’s newly consolidated digital division is developing a new generation of content publishing and management tools. At the same time, and for the foreseeable future, we are committed to supporting Core Publisher. We do not, however, plan to develop new features for CP in 2018.  

The future of Core Publisher:

Core Publisher continues to provide an essential service to a great many stations across the system. That said, it has been around for more than seven years -- a lifetime in digital terms -- and the technical framework upon which it is built inhibits our ability to innovate rapidly, to provide flexibility for publishers, to integrate with other services, and to support our shared goal of building a collaborative news network. It is time to modernize and, in the process, it is also time to leverage the platforms that support NPR.org and other products to drive value more directly to stations.

Please note: We have no intention of shutting off Core Publisher until we have built out a new set of tools, vetted them with station colleagues, and provided you with sufficient time to migrate to the new platform. We plan to support CP well into calendar year 2019, at least.

Throughout this period, however, in order to for us to focus on our critical future needs, we plan to maintain CP and fix only critical defects. The platform will only be updated to ensure it meets industry technical and security standards that serve the long-term interests of the Journalism, Digital and Revenue Networks.

These essential updates include:

  • Taking Core Publisher to HTTPS to secure the experience for mobile and emerging platform users.
  • Updating the SEO structure of CP in order to improve findability of our content and thus reach new audiences.

NPR’s station support team will be dedicated to providing the same level of care and support for Core Publisher that you have relied on throughout the years.

What comes after Core Publisher:

While Core Publisher continues to be maintained, we will be working in the year ahead to build a more integrated, user-friendly system of tools that will ultimately allow you to manage content across your station platforms  and NPR’s platforms. Over the last several months, we have convened multiple fly-ins, conference discussions and advisory groups to discuss the vision of a shared platform; to understand stations’ publishing, community-building and revenue needs; and to explore ways in which stations can benefit more directly from the innovation and scale of the NPR platforms.

As we have discussed in those forums, our working thesis is that the NPR-station solution of the future will center around a more localized version of npr.org, while also accommodating the needs of stations who wish to support their own websites. To provide this flexibility, we have outlined three models of integration with the NPR platform:

  • An “arm’s length” version where a station can support its own website on the CMS of its choice while having access to APIs that allows  publishing to NPR’s platform.
  • A “handshake” version where a station can work with a preferred CMS provider to maintain its website, but also have plug-ins that let the station publish to NPR’s platform.
  • An “arm in arm” version where stations publish to and present their content on a localized, geo-targeted version of npr.org.

In the coming year, we will invite stations to join the beta-testing of these publishing and presentation solutions. We plan to make them more widely available in 2019.

Throughout this process, we will continue to keep you updated on the status and longer-term timelines for the phasing out of Core Publisher and the phasing in of the new solutions.

We are committed to making the process of designing this next generation of digital tools and experiences as inclusive and transparent as possible. After the holidays, you will be seeing blog posts, email updates and webinar invitations in which we will discuss them further and invite your questions.

Thank you.

Janeen Williamson,

Director, Station Support

Cale Rubenstein,

Product Manager, Station Content