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Journalists: 10 sites you might be surprised to learn use WordPress

Lots of web savvy journalists get their type on in WordPress at some point or another in their career, but those same users are often surprised to learn their free “blogging” software also powers some pretty big players in the world of journalism (or some might argue in a few cases highlighted in this post, propaganda). From blog to blog network to full-blown sites, WordPress is behind these 10 notable and timely web destinations.

1. Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Rally for Sanity and/or Fear powered by WordPress

That’s right. Sanity chooses WordPress, and so does everybody’s favorite media critic, Jon Stewart. The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’s official website utilizes WordPress mostly as an elaborate blog, but it illustrates that WP is great for projects along the way—in journalism or otherwise—that require quick development but a strong feature set.

2. The Blaze

Glenn Beck's The Blaze powered by WordPress

Not to be outdone, Glenn Beck and his team of producers have built a nicely done WordPress-powered website dubbed The Blaze. For this fiery publication, Beck’s web lackeys used WP as a hybrid blog and site CMS fronted by a nicely done homepage magazine layout. The Blaze makes use of several page templates, nice slideshow functionality and a New York Times-style flyout that has been popping out all over the web recently. Can’t say much about the content though…

3. The Nonprofit Journalism Hub

The Nonprofit Journalism Hub powered by WordPress

The newly pressed Nonprofit Journalism Hub grew out of the recent Block By Block community news conference, where nonprofit and independent small publishers realized they didn’t have a place to commiserate about their shared experiences. The Nieman Journalism Lab (Note: Also using WordPress) reports the Hub grew out of that need and seeks to be a go-to source for those involved in nonprofit journalism.

4. Online News Association 2010 Conference

Online News Association powered by WordPress

ONA10 just wrapped up, and for those who weren’t lucky enough to be there (see: the author), the Online News Association’s conference minisite was a quick way besides Twitter to tap into what was going on in D.C. ONA’s fantastic looking site uses WordPress as a CMS with lots of pages and lots of posts. The site strikes me as the most aesthetically pleasing site thus far on this list, with stunning typography, bold colors and easy-breezy navigation. Kudos to the NYT and NPR gurus who designed it.

5. West Seattle Blog

West Seattle Blog powered by WordPress

Speaking of ONA10, congratulations to Seattle’s own Tracy Record, whose West Seattle Blog took the Community Collaboration Award home. Record’s blog doesn’t just make this list because it’s local to me, and I occasionally drop by to see what’s happening on the other side of the water. The WSB is a stellar example of what WordPress can do for community publications and hyperlocal blogs. Eventually I’ll get around to writing a post about why WordPress rocks for publishers like WSB…but in the meantime bask in the glory of community news at it’s best. However, as an overly critical news nerd who thinks good-looking news websites are important, I have to give WSB a little guff…local news can be published on pretty websites, too!

6. Lost Remote

Lost Remote powered by WordPress

Now that I’ve mentioned Seattle, I’d be remiss not to point out Lost Remote, a fantastic social media meets journalism blog founded by Cory Bergman, who also co-founded Next Door Media in Seattle. Lost Remote uses WordPress in the traditional blog sense, but comes on strong with an original, clean look and robust feature set to match its content.

7. WSJ Magazine

WSJ Magazine powered by WordPress

OK, I must admit I don’t think I’ve ever really read anything on WSJ Magazine’s gorgeous website, but it makes this list because, well, it’s gorgeous. Of the news websites I’m aware of that use WordPress as a CMS, not just for blogs, this baby makes the best use of the platform. It does what WP is in a way meant for—to be extended and pushed and prodded and customized. Take a peek around…you don’t need to read about explosive art to be impressed.

8. The New York Times Blogs

New York Times blogs powered by WordPress

If other reasons to use WordPress to publish news aren’t enough, maybe the fact that the nation’s newspaper of record powers its stable of blogs with WP might help. Despite its prominence, I’ve found that very few realize the NYT makes use of WordPress for its blogs. Yup, even the big old Gray Lady likes open source, too.

9. The Next Web

The Next Web powered by WordPress

The Next Web is a classic example of using WordPress to power a network of blogs across multiple subdomains. Recently redesigned, TNW looks great and features a personalized dashboard and great typography.

10. The Smoking Jacket

Playboy Smoking Jacket powered by WordPress

You know your software is sexy when Playboy uses it to power a new product of theirs. WordPress core developer Andrew Nacin pointed out Playboy’s new supposedly safe for work (but really probably not) website is driven by WP. Like number two on this list, The Smoking Gun’s content might leave more to be desired, but the WordPress implementation looks and functions great.

Got a favorite WordPress-driven site that’s not on this list? Tell me about it!

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