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A group of media, journalism and tech companies has joined veteran media executive Merrill Brown to create a full-service publishing platform specifically built for digital news publishers called The News Project (TNP).

Why it matters: Brown says his company is different from other digital publishing platforms, like Maven, Squarespace and Medium, because his focuses solely on news.

This model more closely resembles The Washington Post's ARC publishing tech businesses, which signed Advance Local Media and Boston Globe Media this month, as well as Bonnier Corp. and Philly.com earlier this year.

The Associated Press has agreed to work with TNP on a set of services that can be accessed by participating publishers through the TNP platform. The AP will partner in two areas:

  • Give participating websites access to its wire on a subscription basis
  • Help sell TNP's tech worldwide with sales and marketing infrastructure

Publishers will pay a fee to launch on the platform and then will have the option to pick from a menu of services that will be made available through a monthly fee. Brown says payment of an ongoing monthly fee won't be mandatory and that the options are designed to give publishers flexibilities around their business models.

"We might sell ads for some publishers, or sell sponsorships for others," says Brown.

  • Brown says he's raised many hundreds of thousands in a seed round that includes  several former high-end media and technology executives, like Mark Walsh, former former Amazon Tech VP Neil Roseman, DC attorney Scott Fredericksen and his wife Dana Fredericksen, and former eMarketer Publisher Crystal Gurin.
  • He anticipates a lot of its money will come from larger commercial publishers (like large publishers that want to launch quick-turn websites around specific verticals), in order to fund smaller ones, like non-profits.
  • The company's first customer is Opioid Watch, a nonprofit news service published by The Opioid Research Institute.
  • The platform is currently being built by Digital development company 10up. Piano, a global leader in digital subscription and audience intelligence technologies, is building out the company's subscription tech. 

What's next? Brown says he's currently focused on scaling the technology, but has had conversations with many advertising executives about launching an ad-driven business to support publishing partners. 

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
48 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Japan vows deeper emissions cuts ahead of White House summit

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan on Thursday said it will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, per the AP and other outlets.

Why it matters: The country is the world's fifth-largest largest carbon dioxide emitter and a major consumer of coal, oil and natural gas.

The global race to regulate AI

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk."

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.