Global: WaPo launches into vertical video ads  

The Washington Post wants to build on a new style of ad made popular by Snapchat by allowing clients run custom videos anywhere that builds vertically, on desktop or mobile.

Digiday reports that The Post’s video ad service, called FlexPlay, had its first campaign with Lincoln hit the website last month. Lincoln wanted to run vertical video in the news stream on Washington Post’s mobile site and in the vertical half-page position on desktop.

Under FlexPlay, brands hand over their creative assets and the Post’s ad tech team converts them into different formats, ready to run on desktop, mobile web and in app.

The Washington Post’s tech and design team do the editing and can convert videos into vertical, 360 degree and, in the future, virtual reality.

“We’re not just saying we’re jumping into vertical video; we’re already doing it editorially, and we’re actually doing it with brands,” the Post’s head of ad products, Jarrod Dicker, told Digiday.

Publishers want BBC pay deal for regional stories

British regional publishers want the BBC to pay for their journalists to cover courts and council meetings.

The Times of London says publishers represented by the News Media Association are seeking £14 million a year from the BBC’s licence fee income to cover public service reporting.

In September, BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced plans for a pool of 100 public service journalists who would provide coverage of councils and courts for both the corporation and commercial news outlets.

The project was rejected by the regional press, which accused the corporation of “back door expansionism”, however publishers have had a rethink following the closure of a number of papers.

The Times reports regional publishers and the BBC are also discussing an alternative deal worth up to £3 million which would see the broadcaster pay for regional news reports as well as committing to improving its current links with local newspapers.

Australian editor sentenced to prison in Singapore

An Australian editor of a now defunct independent Singaporean news website has been sentenced to a 10-month prison term after pleading guilty to four counts of sedition over articles published on the site.

Ai Takagi, co-editor of The Real Singapore, is eight weeks pregnant and may have to begin her prison term before giving birth.

Police arrested Takagi, a law student who helped edit the site from Australia, last year while she was on holidays in Singapore. Her husband, Yang Kaiheng, a Singaporean national and a co-editor will stand trial next week on the same sedition charges, which carry maximum penalties of three years in prison.

District Judge Salina Ishak found that the articles “were intended from the outset to provoke unwarranted hatred against foreigners in Singapore”. The news website was the first to have its licence revoked by a state media regulatory board formed under regulations introduced for online media in 2013.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentencing and called on authorities to stop jailing journalists and censoring websites.

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