Futures Lab #187: Community Impact Newspaper

Community Impact Newspaper is a hyperlocal news company that delivers a free monthly newspaper to every household in the geographic areas it covers. The company uses revenue generated from advertisements to serve 22 communities across Texas. John Garrett, founder and chief executive officer, explains what makes Community Impact’s targeted advertising model unique. Reporting by Rayna Sims

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  • The company serves 22 communities across 34 cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro areas. It tailors the content of its newspapers to each community.
  • Earlier this month, Community Impact Newspaper announced a new partnership with the Texas Tribune.
  • Community Impact is able to distribute its free newspapers to more than 1.7 million households in Texas because of revenue it makes from advertisements. The company’s advertising model allows it to target ads to readers at extremely hyperlocal levels, even down to individual postal carriers.
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RJI Futures Lab #186: Mobile Studio and Teleprompter App Bigvu

Bigvu is an app designed to be a mobile studio for video journalists in the field. It combines a teleprompter with a platform for recording, managing and publishing the videos. Reporting by Gabe Dubois

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  • Bigvu is being used by several publishers in Europe, including France24, TraceTV, NextPlz, SportYou and Kangai. Spanish news organization 20 Minutos garnered 1.3 million views with the first 11 clips it produced using Bigvu.
  • A post on the Bigvu website outlines seven types of original videos users can produce to drive engagement. Among these examples are breaking news, testimonials and explanation videos.
  • Bigvu is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  Rachel Wise is an editor at the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and co-producer of
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Futures Lab #185: How the Wall Street Journal Engages with 360 Video

The Wall Street Journal has been telling stories using immersive 360 video within its recently launched VR app on the Google Daydream platform. Jarrard Cole, an executive producer in video at the Wall Street Journal, explains how this interactivity helps keep viewers engaged.

Reporting by Reuben Stern, Rachel Wise and Liza Anderson


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Futures Lab #184: Wall Street Journal’s Daydream VR App

Experiencing the WSJ inside a virtual 3-D environment. The Wall Street Journal recently launched a VR app that allows users to experience the Journal in immersive 3-D in Google’s Daydream platform. The app is one of the first to deliver news and live market data inside a virtual 3-D environment. We speak with Himesh Patel, Dow Jones creative director, and Roger Kenny, design tech lead for VR at the Wall Street Journal, about how the app came together. Reporting by Reuben Stern, Rachel Wise and Gabe Dubois

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Futures Lab #182: Making Video Interactive With Adways

Adways is a new tool for turning online video into an interactive experience that works across multiple platforms. Adways general manager Fabrice Jaeger explains how news organizations might use this technology. Reporting by Reuben Stern and Marlee Baldridge

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  • To create an interactive video, a publisher can access Adways through a web browser interface and paste in a link to any video already published online.
  • Interactive elements that can be overlayed include a photo gallery, e-commerce interface, video within a video, text, quizzes, audio, images, a Twitter feed or even a full website.
  • The finished interactive videos can be embedded on other websites. Because Adways’ embed code is based on HTML5, the viewing experience is consistent across a wide range of web browsers and devices.
  • Adways provides analytics, including the ability to track viewer interaction and time spent engaging with links throughout the path of the video.
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Futures Lab #181: Journalism 360, an Immersive Storytelling Initiative

Journalism 360 is an initiative to help journalists experiment with immersive storytelling through events, training, grants, Medium posts and Google Hangouts. The effort aims to connect journalists and build a community around 360 video and augmented and virtual reality for news. Reporting by Reuben Stern and Lindsey Miller

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Futures Lab #180: Building Interactive Timelines With Sponsored Content from Tline

Tline is a new tool for creating interactive timelines that brings together publishers and advertisers. The timelines include sponsored advertisements and can be shared on social media or embedded on a site. Publishers have control over which ads are displayed on their timelines and receive a 50 percent share of the revenue. Reporting by Reuben Stern and Rayna Sims

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