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Cats on skateboards? That’s what blocklists could drive us to: The Media Roundup

Ad blocklists could force publishers ‘back to cats on skateboards’, Reach revenue boss warns

We talked a bit about the impact of blocklists in our most recent podcast episode and the fact that advertisers are jumpy about appearing next to news about the Ukraine war or Trump but are happy to appear alongside whatever random garbage crops up on Instagram feeds. This has led to some of the biggest traffic-driving work publishers have done in recent years earning them little revenue.

Reach Chief Revenue Officer Piers North said this had been thrown “sharply into light” following the Queen’s death. They took all their advertising down following the announcement. “Two hours later, I’m on Facebook, I’m on Instagram and I’m seeing that betting company running around on Instagram and I have a visceral reaction, which is why is it appropriate?” North asked.

“It does lead us down a path where either news businesses will not sustain – well do you know what, we won’t cover the Queen’s death, we’ll just go back to cats on skateboards.” As long as you don’t call them pussycats…

5 key takeaways: WAN-IFRA World News Media Congress 2022

WNIP’s Jez Walters has just returned from a week in Zaragoza attending the World News Media Congress 2022. Ahead of some more detailed coverage, he’s pulled out some of the top-level themes. “Normal times are over, and whether it’s pandemics, war, price inflation, power shortages, etc, the publishers that make it through successfully will be those that exhibit agility and adaptability,” he notes.

How bots corrupted advertising

I knew bots were a problem but I didn’t know how much of a problem – apparently they could make up as much as 40% of all web traffic. “The digital advertising industry has grown so accustomed to working with inflated numbers that few are unwilling to unmask the fake clicks powering large swathes of the online economy.” No wonder our expectations for podcast listener numbers are so high.

The Russian language news startup Helpdesk offers service journalism for times of war

Helpdesk has been described as “service journalism for people in a conflict zone.” Over the past nine days, the Russian language news startup has received more than 20,000 queries. A team of about 50 people — who work remotely and from offices in Riga, Kyiv, and Tbilisi — answers them for an audience that is roughly 60% Russian, 40% Ukrainian.

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