March 28, 2016 Last Updated 4:41 pm

Forbes effectively locks out readers with ad blockers, and without an ad blocker

Al Jazeera announces that it will cut about 500 jobs worldwide, while Lee Enterprises paper in Carbondale, Illinois publishes its last Monday print edition

Some publishers are absolutely serious about making sure readers who use an ad blocker are locked out of their site until they disable the extension or whitelist their website. Forbes is one of those media outlets. In fact, they are so serious about this that this morning I discovered I was locked out of their site for using an ad blocker.

Forbes-400-abBecause of the work i do here at TNM, I often use two different browsers: Safari for news gathering and writing, used without an ad blocker; and Chrome, in order to translate foreign language sites, and to occasionally look at sites without ads.

This morning I wanted to read a story on the site that condemned California’s move to raise the minimum wage. Not surprisingly, Forbes is not in favor of this, saying they have proof that it would be a jobs killer. I thought this interesting in that most cities that have raised the minimum wage have not found this to be the case, so if they really have some sort of new proof that raising minimum wage would do this I wanted to know about it.

Oh well, Forbes locked me out because they thought I had an ad blocker installed.

I guess their message should have read: ‘don’t even think about installing an ad blocker, and just to show you how serious we are about this, we’re locking out you just to teach you a lesson.’

In any case, returning to the same page after completing this post the website thanked me for turning off my ad blocker and allowed me to proceed. It wasn’t worth it.

Some eBook producers were disappointed that the latest Apple event failed to mention anything about iBooks Author. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as iBA updates are few and far between.

iBA designers will have to settle for some updates from template makers instead.

The latest is from Graphic Node who updated Templates for iBooks Author Free, they’ve added a couple of templates to their free app.

The same company also has another template app in the Mac App Store, Themes for iBooks Author, which costs $19.99.

The problem with most template apps is that while they may offer a number of different templates, there is very little variation between templates. They often look nice because of their good graphics, but the difference from one to the other is mostly the position of the graphics and the changing of fonts.

Better to learn how to customize existing templates, or even work with blank pages, building your own templates through the process.

Today’s edition of the Southern Illinoisan newspaper is the last Monday edition to be published by the Lee Enterprises owned paper. The daily paper serves Carbondale, home to Southern Illinois University (which has one of the best sports mascot names, the Salukis).

SI-press-400“Since we announced this about a month ago, I have interacted with many, many subscribers, a lot of who were very disappointed. I’m disappointed, as well. I grew up with a seven-day-a-week newspaper, and it is difficult to think about publishing less than a daily,” said John Pfeifer, editor and publisher of the Southern Illinoisan.

Today the paper wrote about its last Monday edition, and the reasons behind the move, in a very nice and thorough article. Unlike some pieces that try to explain why the newspaper was cutting back on editions or home delivery days, this one doesn’t start off by claiming that the move is really a digital initiative, though the author does mention that readers are moving online.

Instead, it admits that eliminating the Monday edition is about cutting costs.

“The bottom line, whether at The Southern or elsewhere, is newspapers are still looking for ways to reduce costs while capturing revenue from advertisers who are moving way from traditional print formats toward digital platforms,” wrote Nick Mariano of The Southern.

Al Jazeera announced major layoffs that will result in about 500 positions being eliminated.

“Over the past few months, we have carefully evaluated every option available to the Network in order to ensure that we are best positioned in light of the large scale changes underway in the global media landscape,” Acting Director General, Mostefa Souag said in the announcement. “Based on this review, we have embarked on a workforce optimization initiative that will allow us to evolve our business operation in order to maintain a leading position and continue our recognized commitment to high quality, independent and hard-hitting journalism around the world.”

“Workforce optimization” is a new one for me.

The move comes about two months after the media company announced that it would shutter its cable news brand in the US, Al Jazeera America.

  • M Trego 7 months ago

    Same thing happened to me. I guess that’s better than getting the pop-under malware from the ads that have been on Forbes’ site.

    While Forbes seems serious at blocking ad-blockers, they don’t seem to be quite as serious about malware-infested ads on

    Plus, I don’t know if it’s just me and I’m no expert but the site seems like it’s going downhill a fair bit.

  • Rod M 7 months ago

    Easy to bypass on Safari on Mac – google the link. Then right click on the link result and choose “Inspect Element”. You will then see the full link in blue – click on it – presto appears no issues and no blocks.

    In Chrome do similar – google search the article name, right click and choose “Copy Link Address” then paste into a new Chrome tab or window – presto – no issues and no blocks.

    All with ABP still enabled.