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Global: FB trials video ad sales tool for publishers

Facebook is testing a new tool designed to help media companies sell video advertising on their own websites, apps and other digital properties in a more automated fashion.

The company said the new ad offering, called Audience Direct, will invite publishers to list video ad inventory for sale from across their properties, and to specify pricing.

Marketers will then have the ability to log on to the system and to purchase ad space from specific publishers on a self-service basis, potentially streamlining the buying and selling process for both parties.

Crucially, marketers can also specify which types of users to which they wish to display ads, based on Facebook’s mountain of user data. For example, an advertiser might purchase video ads on a specific TV network’s website or app, but targeted only to women in a specific city.

Bezos donates $1m to press freedom

Photo: Steve Jurvetson (jurvetson) / Flickr
Photo: Steve Jurvetson (jurvetson) / Flickr

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos has donated $US1 million to The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the biggest gift from an individual in the organisation’s 46-year history.

The committee announced details of the donation on Tuesday.

“This generous gift will help us continue to grow, to offer our legal and educational support to many more news organisations, and to expand our services to independent journalists, non-profit newsrooms and documentary filmmakers,” committee chairman David Boardman said.

“We’ll also be better positioned to help local newsrooms, the places hit hardest by the disruption in the news industry and whose survival is every bit as crucial to American democracy as those entities headquartered in Washington and New York.”

Mr Bezos, who is worth $82.7 billion, purchased The Washington Post in 2013 and has been a demur but firm voice for press freedom in the years since.

Republican candidate ‘body-slams’ reporter

Law authorities are investigating claims by a reporter from The Guardian that the Republican candidate for the congressional seat of Montana slammed him to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election.

Political reporter Ben Jacobs said his glasses were broken by the candidate Greg Gianforte, who shouted at him, “Get the hell out of here” after he interposed a question during an interview with a TV crew at the Republican’s campaign headquarters

Jacobs was asking Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” him.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs alleged by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin County sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.

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