Glenn Fleishman, writing for Macworld, has an excellent analysis of News in iOS 9, its implications for readers and publishers, and how it could be improved. While we don't yet know how it will work in reality, and some of the tools are yet to be made available, Glenn is well positioned to comment on the app given his involvement with the soon-to-be-defunct Newsstand.
This point is of particular interest:
News is a gatekeeper, and we are all wise—whether publications, bloggers, readers, or users of social networks—to be skeptical of those who set themselves up that way, no matter their track record. We have Apple-that-runs-the-App-Store, rejecting software that too closely competes with its own or through an extreme interpretation of a content rule doesn’t pass review.
We have Apple-that-runs-a-podcast-directory, which seems to include everything submitted through a simple process (though it wrote its own extensions to RSS particular to iTunes to which we have to conform). The only requirement is that material that’s deemed mature by its description should be tagged “explicit” either for an entire podcast or for particular episodes.
And we also have Apple-that-runs-iBookstore, which rejects books that link in any fashion, even as a mention in an author’s biography, other bookstores.
Which Apple will review publisher submissions?
I had a discussion on Twitter with Christopher Meinck of everythingiCafe about just the same issue. Will Apple be reading a site's content and deciding whether it can be included in News? If you are critical of Apple, perhaps your site won't be favored. If you run Apple rumors or talk about jailbreaking, which Apple is known to not be keen on, perhaps your content be featured in the app.
Despite the risk of rejection and the opaque application and "approval" process, I'm still excited about News as a small, independent publisher. From the presentation and the documentation, it seems Noted will be on a (pretty-much) level playing field with huge publishers like The New York Times, BuzzFeed and Daring Fireball. News and iOS 9's machine learning and curation should also highlight my content and present it to interested readers that may never find it otherwise — that's why I want to be included.