Twenty-nine leading news organizations including Hearst launch independent digital rights, content licensing organization NewsRight aimed to support original news reporting, provide easy method to license published digital news

NEW YORK , January 5, 2012 (press release) – Twenty-nine major news and information companies have signed on as initial investors and participants in NewsRight, an independent digital rights and content licensing organization led by former ABC News President David Westin. NewsRight aims to support original news reporting by facilitating the use of published news content and data analytics with the permission of publishers.

The 29 founding organizations of NewsRight (full list below) opens up access to a rich and diverse set of original news reports from 841 websites representing newspapers with a combined daily circulation of more than 147 million Americans and a monthly content viewership of nearly 170 million web readers. Their initial investment demonstrates unprecedented support across the publishing industry for an easy method to license published digital news reports.

“More news is available more ways than ever in history. But if reliable information is to continue to flourish, the companies investing in creating content need efficient ways to license it as broadly as possible,” said NewsRight President and CEO David Westin. “NewsRight’s mission is to make sure consumers continue to benefit from the all the original news reporting they want while ensuring those who republish content do so with integrity. ”

NewsRight will:

1. Provide new and easy ways to license news content.
NewsRight will make it easy for third parties to obtain legal clearance to use news content from participating publishers, while providing the publishers with licensing support and insight into the use of their content.

2. Provide powerful new insight into the use and impact of news content.
NewsRight will make it easy for publishers and third parties to access and use these data in editorial, marketing, advertising, public relations and other contexts involving the analysis of news events. Using the News Registry, a content measurement system developed at the Associated Press, NewsRight currently measures several billion impressions a month on news content from participating publishers. NewsRight participants and clients will receive real-time measurements about news patterns and how registered content is being used across digital platforms. The UP 2011 Cloud Awards recognized the News Registry as the Exceptional Enterprise Cloud User.

“Working with NewsRight benefits digital innovators because they can license news content in their applications quickly and easily; news organizations that provide the content for those applications benefit because they can more efficiently license their content to a broader range of uses; and consumers benefit because they will have assured access to a robust supply of credible news and information in new and exciting ways,” said Mr. Westin.

The initial investors in NewsRight are: Advance Publications, The Associated Press, Axel Springer Group, A.H.Belo Management Services, Belo Management Services, Business Wire, Community Newspaper Holdings, El Dia, Galveston Newspapers, Gatehouse Media, The Gazette Company, Hearst Newspapers, Journal Communications, Landmark Media Enterprises, The McClatchy Company, Media General, MediaNews Group, Morris Communications, Morris Multimedia, NPG Newspapers, The New York Times Company, Ogden Newspapers, Pioneer Newspapers, Schurz Communications, The E.W. Scripps Company, Stephens Media, Swift Communications, Times Publishing Co. and The Washington Post Company.

“The news and information companies that have come together to form NewsRight believe strongly in the value of original content and its widespread consumption. But as we help content grow, we also need to uphold accountability and integrity—and that is exactly what NewsRight aims to do,” said Bob Nutting, President and CEO of Ogden Newspapers and Chairman of the Board of NewsRight.

To register your publication with the NewsRight or to license NewsRight participants’ content please visit Newsright.com.

David Westin was named President and CEO of NewsRight in April 2011. From 1997 through the end of 2010, Westin was President of ABC News. During that time, he oversaw coverage of President Clinton’s impeachment, the 2000 election, the 9/11 attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the economic crisis of 2008. Under his direction, ABC News launched its website, ABCNews.com; started the first live, streaming 24-hour news service, ABC News Now; and transformed the ways that it collected, produced, and reported the news through extensive use of digital technology. During Westin’s tenure, ABC News earned 11 George Foster Peabody Awards, 13 Alfred I. DuPont Awards, five George Polk Awards, more than 40 News & Documentary Emmys, and more than 40 Edward R. Murrow Awards. Before taking the helm at ABC News, Westin was President of the ABC Television Network and General Counsel of the parent company, Capital Cities/ABC. He was a partner and associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington and, immediately after law school, clerked for J. Edward Lumbard on the Second Circuit and for Lewis F. Powell on the Supreme Court.

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