We've had some discussion around this, as a client of ours actually proposed that work we did with him be shared in just such a newspress focussed forum. When we looked at the idea of bundling all the elements that might make up a NewsPress product (including bits of buddypress, themes, plugins, extentions) we found that Commons in a Box was the closest analogy to the structure we're thinking of. Bear in mind that CiaB is supported by quite a lot of money from the Alfred p Sloan foundation, so this might not be cheap to build.
Better author pages
Reader/Authors - Contributors (see membership below)
Tiny MCE might not be the best tool - both of the following are (or will be) available is WP plugins:
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Clearly both models need to be available — to that end, dealing with comments might be outside of what we want to accomplish with this (especially since commenting isn't really something specific to news and journalism).
The Coral project under development by Knight Mozilla and the Washington Post seems to be very relevant here. It's got some key advantages in that there is a team working on it who want to share, and in terms of data privacy it's a nice option.
Paywalls seem to be falling out of favour for a lot of high volume sites - especially those who see a real need to engage with audience/readership conversastions in the wider social media sphere. Biggest news site in the UK is the Daily Mail far outstripping The Sun, though the latter is still a bigger circulation newsprint publication. Paywall killed the Sun, and they're getting out.
Also, for quite a few news sites we find clients are now interested in exploring a blurred line between readers and contributors, especially at a more local level. Membership need not be a simple monetary relationship - it's possible some of the features we associate with tools like BuddyPress may be pertinent here. imagine a local paper for a large metropolitan area. It may well be appropriate for each local area or borough to have a sub area of the site where alongside relevant news stories from staff reporters there can be local event write ups, op eds or columns from 'members' of the site who want to use the paper as a forum for the local community.