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Supporting the independence and sustainability of nonprofit news


The Challenge

Kobinet-Nachrichten successfully ran their publishing operations from 2013 to 2019 on Newscoop, Sourcefabric’s first open-source content management system (CMS). But with the sunsetting of Newscoop, Kobinet-Nachrichten found itself in need of a new digital newsroom solution. According to IT director Hubertus Thomasius, they considered a variety of solutions on the market, but they came back to Sourcefabric in the end, with Superdesk as the open-source headless CMS they liked best. "It was flexible and had all the features we were looking for," said Thomasius.

The Solution

Not many small news organisations have strong IT skills in house. However, Kobinet-Nachrichten found the right combination of talent and interest among some of its key members and had Superdesk up and running in just two months.

“Without Superdesk and the other open-source solutions from Sourcefabric, a news organisation like ours would not be able to fulfill its mission and still remain independent.”

Ottmar Miles-Paul
Ottmar Miles-Paul Kobinet-Nachrichten news editor and member of the board

Currently the organisation aims to publish at least one new article daily, but averages more, about seven new articles a day, along with a monthly column. Their setup is relatively simple. With a single desk encompassing their full editorial operations, each staff editor also has publishing privileges. Articles by external contributors have to be reviewed before being published.

Rules regarding content are also kept to a minimum : articles must be original news stories accompanied by a photo. (As a result, Kobinet now has over 10,000 images in their archive.) And every piece of content should support Kobinet-Nachrichten’s mission of shining a light on news concerning the disabled community in all of its complexity: sharing the hopes, the frustrations, and everything in between.


Today Kobinet-Nachrichten produces the same amount of content as it did on Newscoop, but with fewer editors than before. That means the team is able to work more efficiently with Superdesk, especially when it comes to managing images.

On the front end, they are publishing to their website through WordPress, with an interface to Superdesk that was coded in-house.

They are also distributing more content via other platforms, through Facebook and Twitter in particular as well as through a weekly email newsletter.

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With their technical requirements covered by Superdesk, the other main need for Kobinet-Nachrichten as a volunteer organisation is to have more contributors. Because they are always seeking to do more around issues that affect the disabled community, expanding their coverage and making it broader more comprehensive, they are looking for young German-speaking journalists with a passion for inclusivity and diversity. Find out how to get involved here.

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