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The Battle of the Adblockers! 

The French newspaper industry is taking a stand in the Battle of the Adblockers, similar to the moves taken by Forbes.  As the Guardian reports,

The initiative, organised by a trade association representing online businesses, aimed to reverse the growing popularity of software that blocks advertisements that many internet users find annoying, but which provide critical revenue to media websites.  “For our 400 journalists to provide you each day with high-quality, reliable and varied news each day … we must be able to rely on advertising revenue,” read a message from Jerome Fenoglio, the editor-in-chief of French daily Le Monde, to users running adblocker software.

Le Monde shows this message, but allows users to continue.   Others like L’Equipe and Le Parisien require users to disable the ad-blockers.

Social Audio!

WNYC is experimenting with crowdsourced audio, using an app called Anchor, which allows users to record their responses into the app in good sound quality.   It’s so far had a good response, with one user calling it the “audio version of Periscope”.   The app was used by WNYC’s Arun Venugopal to get responses about political correctness.  His post was played more than 2000 times, and has garnered 26 responses so far, according to Nieman Lab. 

The Future of Newspapers! 

The  Independent, is the first British broadsheet to go digital-only, killing off its paper version in the next two weeks.  If this is the future of the press – there’s no other way to put this – it sucks.  Massively.  More than 100 out of 160 journalists will lose their jobs; those who stay on face pay cuts of as much as half their salaries.  And what’s more, they may be asked to work on ads.   There will be some new hires of journalists who span editorial and commercial, violating the “church-state divide” that was one of the guiding tents of journalism.   Digiday reports, 

“Day to day, they’ll write impartial pieces as any other features journalist would. Commercial would not try to influence this. Similarly, they would not be expected to ‘sell’ to brands they’re covering,” [Jon O’Donnell, group commercial director of parent ESI media group, said. “When a brief comes in from client A, they’ll come in and provide some great ideas as to how to win the pitch, possibly see the client in some cases. We win the business, and they go back into editorial and back to the day job. It’s about us having guaranteed commercial resources in key categories for us.”

Journalists have already written commercial features for the title, which are labeled as sponsored. For example, for Coach, the newspaper’s fashion editor Alexander Fury wrote four articles focusing on each fashion week in New York, London, Milan and Paris as each happened, and each article was labeled “in association with” Coach but with Fury’s byline. Over a month, this attracted 95,000 pageviews,and an average dwell time of 3.5 minutes, according to O’Donnell.

Here’s how I feel about this.


1)Harvests of Change (Des Moines Register)

2) How the NYTimes is Sparking the VR Journalism Revolution (Wired) 

3) Virtual Reality News is Coming and the Implications are Ominous (Spectator)

ASSIGNMENT:  Begin work on final projects.  Please make sure you have discussed your subject with me by March 28.    It requires some element of original journalism.

BLOGPOSTS:  There’s a once-off amnesty on late blogposts.  If you are overdue on any, file them by 9pm Thursday 24 March and you’ll get credit.  It’s a one-time-only offer.