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Pagefair is an ad-blocking circumvention tool that publishers can use to track readers who’ve taken technological countermeasures to protect their privacy. The company has sold its service to many publishers — including the Economist — by deploying moral arguments about the evils of ad-blocking. (more…)

Internet comments have a pretty terrible reputation these days, and every couple of weeks or so we see another news site drop them. One of the justifications for that decision is often that most quality conversations are taking place on social media now.

Social media “is just a better place to engage a smart audience that’s not trolling,” Kara Swisher, the executive editor of Recode, told Nieman Lab recently.

News organizations using virtual reality technology to enhance their stories is a certifiable trend (so much so that The New Yorker even did a snarky little takedown recently).

In September, Frontline took its viewers into the heart of the Ebola crisis with itsfirst virtual reality documentary. Just this weekend, The New York Times shipped Google Cardboards to its million Sunday print subscribers, whom The Times hopes will download its free app and watch the Times Magazine’s film about three displaced children from South Sudan, eastern Ukraine, and Syria. The Associated Press is partnering with a Los Angeles-based production company to put out a series of VR films in the coming months. And ahead of the curve more than year ago, Gannett’s Des Moines Register built an interactive about Iowa farm families for Oculus Rift.


The lede and various details in The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares, an article at the New York Times, are rewritten automatically based upon the reader’s location.

Encryption for the working journalist: Accessing the internet anonymously

Part two. An introduction to file encryption and anonymous internet access from ‘Data journalism: Inside the global future’… read more

Encryption for the working journalist: Communicating securely

Part one. An introduction to tools and concepts to protect you and your sources online, from ‘Data journalism: Inside the global future’… read more

How 5 publishers enhance their stories with original illustrations

We’ve been mocking stock photos since at least 2011, when Edith Zimmerman published the now-Internet classic “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” on The Hairpin.

Four years later, stock images are still easy to spot, even if they’re not outright cheesy. They’re not the only option, of course — there are always Creative Commons photos, product shots, screenshots, or, of course, photos taken by reporters — but once in awhile you think how nice it would be to have some original art illustrating a story.

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