Introducing News Evolved

This post originally was posted on the News Evolved Blog. Check it out!

The story behind it

News Evolved is my first attempt at a WordPress theme. It stemmed from working for the Whitman Pioneer as Web Manager during the Spring of 2009. During this time I realized that there wasn’t really a theme for WordPress that incorporated a lot of the new thoughts concerning the online presence of newspapers.

So, I decided to set out to build one of my own. Inspired by the model created during the Revenue Two Point Zero conference in Washington D.C. I wanted to create a theme that took advantage of the new forms of media and technology that have become almost common place.

What are my goals?

While I’m not a journalist and have never worked as a writer for a paper I do have a passion as a consumer and designer of news.

I don’t know what the future of journalism will look like for reporters (there’s people far smarter than me who are working on ideas though) but I want to do all that I can to try and help news adapt to the web.

I wanted to create a theme that put the focus of a newspaper website back where it should have been all along: on the content.

The main layout for article pages
The main layout for article pages

For too long newspapers have had sites that take the view of “how can we make money from this?” News Evolved aims to be different. While designing I was thinking how can I make news appear in a more enjoyable and consumable manner? How can it draw readers in and once they’re in, what’s the best method for advertising?

I think it’s about time that newspapers started thinking of how they create the best environment and experience for the readers instead of how they can make the most money of readers.

To this extent News Evolved is aligned to a clean (in my eyes at least) grid and the ads remain where they will be most relevant: alongside the actual content.

What are the features and where’s the download?

News Evolved features a lot already and will be added to and expanded in the coming months. It’s available to download for free and all I ask is that you keep the spirit that I created it in alive. It’s meant to be something that evolves and changes with a news organization. So, share what worked for you, what plugins you found to be useful, etc.

The homepage of News Evolved
The homepage of News Evolved

Features:

The above features are just a small part of what I aim to include and accomplish with this theme. If you interested in seeing what will be coming in the following weeks and months head over to the development roadmap.

Thank you for your interest in News Evolved. I would love to hear what you think about it in the comments below and if you’re interested in getting involved on the development side of it get in touch.

In the coming days I will be posting more details about some of the features that I’ve worked into News Evolved and my rationale behind them so stay tuned.