Ad Nauseam

What do you think about online ads?

In a post yesterday, Nieman Journalism Lab’s Martin Langeveld crunched the numbers underscoring the general assumption that “the audience for news has shifted from print to the Web in a big way.” In fact, Langeveld found,

All generally accepted truths notwithstanding, more than 96 percent of newspaper reading is still done in the print editions, and the online share of the newspaper audience attention is only a bit more than 3 percent.

If true, Langeveld’s argument upends notions we’ve taken for granted about the relationship between online and in-print newspaper readership—and thus about the impact of online advertising. While recent history suggests that online ads cannot, on their own, sustain most journalistic institutions, they can still provide one revenue stream among others (subscriptions, etc.).

So we want to know from you: as a news consumer, when it comes to online ads, what will you tolerate? What types of commercial vehicles—pop-up ads, traveling ads that move across your screen—do you find intolerable? What do you think of targeted ads that “know” your consumer habits? And, assuming that ads will remain, in some form, part of the picture of online news—what kinds of ads would you, as a news consumer, most like to see?

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.