The Pioneer News Group, in cooperation with Microsoft Corp. and Posh Technologies, has launched an innovative new initiative increasing subscribers’ access to news—and puts the power of reporting news into readers’ hands.
In this new venture, Pioneer will begin distributing to subscribers a Windows 10 digital tablet preloaded with an app built for both receiving and sending the latest local news.
Those who prefer to use their own devices may download the apps on Window 10 as well as Apple and Android products.
Pioneer News Group said it aims to expand and deepen the connection between the public and the news industry by highlighting stories that are relevant and important to it readers. Providing tablets to subscribers with pre-loaded news applications supports the current trend to offer an online option for receiving news and will help Pioneer better determine future print and digital strategies.
“This is an exciting evolution for our industry,” said Mike Gugliotto, CEO of the Pioneer News Group. “It further advances the ability for our community to interact and engage with us as they prefer. For those who have been waiting for a reason to get a tablet for their home, we can now provide a device as part of an affordable, familiar subscription format.”
Posh Technologies developed the new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application called uReporter. Built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, uReporter enables anyone with a device to access the Pioneer News Group’s original, community-focused news as well as submit stories using photos, videos, audio and text. Newsroom can the publish the content onto their websites and to the app in real time, giving readers the opportunity to play a unique and active role in keeping their communities informed.
“The uReporter app provides publishers the ability to really be more social with their readers. We hope this drives the kind of meaningful audience participation important to publishers like Pioneer,” said Vishal Misri, CEO of Posh Technologies. “Our goal was to create a multi-platform application that ties to existing business systems–including content and subscriber management systems–making it easy and seamless to manage on the backend. We do believe this could be a catalyst for the further digital transformation of the newspaper industry.”
Gary Fowle, Microsoft’s vice president of U.S. Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, said using uReporter in combination with Window 10 tablets and Microsoft Azure represented a innovative way for people to share news within their communities.
“At the same time, this new app from Posh Technologies will enable these citizen journalists to customize and prioritize the news they receive on their Windows 10 tablets, a move that will certainly transform the way
Pioneer—and eventually other news outlets—do business going forward,” Fowle added.
Three Pioneer markets are involved in the initial launch: the Skagit Valley Herald in Mt. Vernon, Wash., the Idaho Press-Tribune in Nampa, Idaho, and The Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Ore. A monthly subscription to those papers includes an 8-inch device with Windows 10.
Pioneer News Group is a private, family-owned media company headquartered in Seattle. In addition to three papers involved in the tablet initiatives, its print and digital properties include the Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle, The Herald Journal in Logan, Utah, and The Daily Record in Ellensburg, Wash.