WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


November 2011

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Phone-hacking update: Tony Blair's former Public Relations advisor, Alistair Campbell, states he and MP Tom Watson were sent threatening messages because they took a vocal stance against phone-hacking.

Want to calculate the value of your Facebook page? The Washington Post gives you a couple of ways to go about doing it.

Content farms: Google may have attempted to give content farms lower search ratings but will that mean they cease to profitable?

Does your newsroom need to be restructured? Magda Abu-Fadil tells us how 'mobile work flows' are key to making it in the digital era.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service



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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-30 18:07

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Open Graph is possibly one of Facebook's most interesting elements, as far as news organisations are concerned. It has allowed the social network to permeate the lives of its users like never before, creating opportunities to share more and more of what they do with friends. It has also allowed media organisations to benefit hugely from this social commerce. The 'frictionless sharing experience' provided by Open Graph, which essentially means sharing without having to click a button, has been enormously beneficial to the media.

If you consume media that is integrated with Open Graph, then it makes it easier for your friends to see what you have been listening to/watching/reading, in the case of news articles. This means that the potential for extra page views through social media referrals soars.

The latest version of Open Graph has now been in use since September of this year, when it was unveiled at the F8 developers conference. Since then, news organisations have been reaping great benefits from social reading apps; for example, Yahoo has drawn 10 million people to its new social integration and increased traffic form Facebook by 600%.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-30 14:44

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When it comes to designing tablet apps, can news organizations sometimes be too smart for their own good?

Tom Standage, digital editor of The Economist, recently told the Editors Weblog "Tablet users seem to be particularly keen on reading text, and for long periods."

"That, rather than bells and whistles, is what our apps provide, and what our readers seem to want," says Standage.

To back up his statement, Standage cites a PEW study from October, carried out in collaboration with The Economist Group. The study notes that news users "are highly likely to read long articles on their tablets, not just get headlines." In fact, 42% of tablet news consumers read in-depth articles, versus just 16% who browse news interactively by sharing content on social networks.

Unexpectedly perhaps, readers often do not access these articles through apps. "Contrary to many expectations, news apps have not become the primary interface for news on tablets," states the study. Over a third of users have no news apps at all, and those that do have them don't always use them.

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-30 14:16

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Journalism these days... what's it coming to? It's a question that everybody wants an answer to. Disregarding the painful question of how the press will survive financially in the digital age, the debate surrounding what constitutes journalism is in constant motion.

As Dan Rather outlined when he collected the Committee to Protect Journalists Burton Benjamin Memorial Award 2011 on November 22, many people feel that journalism has lost its way somewhat. With the ongoing revelations at the Leveson Inquiry relating to bad practice in the British press, it seems that journalism may be undergoing something of an identity crisis. What is it? What do journalists do? What's the point of it all?!

Of course, there is a commonly discussed divide between 'good' journalism and 'bad' journalism. In fact, author JK Rowling suggested in her testimony to the Leveson Inquiry that a separate term should exist to distinguish one type of journalism from another. "Good" journalism abides by an ethical code and chases stories that are meaningful to the public; investigative journalism would fall into this category. 'Bad' journalism would be the opposite of this practice, something that is often identified within the tabloid press.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-29 18:54

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Reporters Without Borders make a plea for conference delegates in Bonn to work towards free, independent media in Afghanistan.

Reporters Without Borders has also updated its handbooks designed to help bloggers and "cyber dissidents" gain wider exposure and remain protected from authoritarian regimes.

Despite much speculation, James Murdoch has been reappointed as director of BSkyB.

The British Library has released a digitised catalogue of newspapers from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Now everyone can see what journalism was like in the good old days.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service




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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-29 17:11

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The New Haven Register announced a reorganization of its newsroom yesterday. The move includes the formation of three new teams: one dedicated to investigative journalism, one to promote user engagement, and one to handle breaking news.

The new investigative and in-depth reporting division will be the first team officially dedicated to investigative reporting at The Register in 20 years. It will feature articles in an "explainer" format, to look deeper at issues that affect the paper's readership, as well as fact-checking statements by public figures to hold them to account.

The move perhaps contradicts ideas from commentators like Dean Starkman (in this article at least) that the move towards digital journalism puts the media in danger of leaving serious reporting by the wayside: "Public-interest reporting isn't just another tab on the home page," writes Starkman.

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-29 14:33

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"One year ago today we put our beliefs before our lives, released Cablegate and changed the world." WikiLeaks tweeted today.

The organisation has just won a major Australian prize for journalistic excellence, the Walkley Award for 'Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism'. The Walkley Foundation stated that Wikileaks has earned this recognition of its "courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency".

The release of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks is often viewed as one of the most radical events in journalism, with many supporters claiming that the information revealed by the cables contributed to the end of the war in Iraq and helped spark the Tunisian uprisings which then spread to become the phenomenon widely referred to as the 'Arab Spring'.

The success of Wikileaks has led to many people seeing this kind of online-based leaking system as a new model for journalism; but one that is not without its flaws.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-29 14:33

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Once upon a time, people may have stereotyped of The Economist as a dry, formal publication, which aged company executives would leaf through in their dusty studies. But if those days ever existed, they are certainly confined to the past now.

The international magazine currently has over 100,000 digital-only subscribers and more than a million monthly mobile readers. Economist readers have downloaded more than 3 million apps since their launch and online traffic has grown by 45% since September of last year. The publication now has 7 million online users.

These figures were reported in the interim financial report released by The Economist Group today, which shows a run of spectacular success for the publication. The report announces a 6% year-on-year rise in operating profits, totaling £26.2 million, and a revenue increase of 4%, to £164.3 million.

In the report, Economist Chairman Rupert Pennant-Rea remarks on the positive uptake of The Economist on new media, saying that "the demand for digital editions have exceeded our expectations". But the success story also translates to print: circulation of the print edition increased 3% in the first half of 2011, compared to the same period last year (maybe some of those executives are still leafing?).

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-29 12:09

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Advertising in the news industry: Has social media changed the opposition between advertising and journalism? Where do you draw the line on "advertorials"?

Twitter v Liveblog: is the liveblog as good as Twitter, possibly better? Poynter dicusses.

Storify helps combat 'media blackouts': how the media aggregator site helped collect information about the Occupy Wallstreet movement.

Google+: still a valuable tool to connect with readers? The New York Times thinks so.


For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service



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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-28 20:10

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Today the Leveson Inquiry has heard more revelations regarding the behaviour of the British tabloid press.

To summarise, witnesses today included Christopher Jefferies, who was falsely accused and vilified by the media as the killer of Joanna Yates; Ian Hurst, a former British army intelligence officer whose computers was allegedly hacked by the News of the World in order to obtain details of an IRA informer; Jane Winter, a peace and human rights campaigner in Ireland; Anne Diamond, a former television presenter; and Charlotte Church, a singer who was thrust into the limelight at a very young age. You can read coverage of the whole thing here.

Jeffries related that he felt as if he were under "house arrest" after his arrest by police and that he had to stay with numerous friends to avoid media scrutiny, feeling "rather as if I was a recusant priest at the time of the Reformation, going from safe house to safe house".

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-28 19:21

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News today is all about being first; 'real time' is king; users want the latest information in the quickest possible time delivered straight to their mobile device so they are constantly kept abreast of unfolding world events. Right?

Well, yes... and no.

It seems that Facebook is producing something of a Lazarus effect for old news content. Stories that were written more than a decade ago are increasingly becoming viral phenomena thanks to the new 'frictionless sharing' system introduced by the social network in September.

Frictionless sharing means that articles read by Facebook users are automatically shared with friends. This means that if you happen to glance at a story with a sensationalist headline that was published by a site that uses a Facebook app to integrate their content into the network via "open graph", then that sensational headline will appear on all your friends' newsfeeds - many of whom are just as likely to be lured to click on said headline as you were. This process is repeated several times over; and then again; and again. Thus, the article goes viral.

The Guardian and The Independent have both integrated their content into Facebook and this has lead to wide and rapid distribution of their content via the social network.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-28 16:45

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The role and rights of the press involved in Occupy Wall Street coverage have once again become the cause of controversy. This time, it's not the nature of the coverage and whether it may or may not be biased for/against the Occupy movement, but rather, whether the press have the right to even cover the evictions from Zuccotti Park at all.

The New York Mayor's office attempted to justify keeping journalists away from the action in Zuccotti Park, a ban that came into place on November 15 on the basis that reporters needed to be kept away from ongoing arrests and evictions for their own protection.

This raises certain questions about where reporters can go and when. Usually journalists who have been issued a press pass by the NYPD can cross police lines in the event of a breaking news story.

However, as the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Norman Siegel, explained to The Observer, "There is a provision to deny press access, but the order must come from a supervising officer or DCPI, not just any officer on the street, he explained."

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-25 19:22

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Foursquare has created an infographic showing travel patterns across the USA from Halloween to just after Christmas 2010.

Learn "Google-Fu": improve your research skills and learn how to Google more effectively.

The Daily Mail set a new monthly traffic record for their site, achieving 79 million unique browsers during that month.

Facebook users in Thailand have been warned not to 'like' anti-monarchy pages, as such a statement could result in a prison sentence for insulting a monarchy.

BBC has been found guilty of biased coverage in the form of one TV item when covering the large-scale eviction of travelers from the Dale Farm site in the UK.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.



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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-25 17:32

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As part of its English-language Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) initiative, Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta has created an iPad app called TOUCH RUSSIA to help bring news from across Russia to the rest of the world. Rossiyskaya Gazeta is the "Russian government's paper of record and provides the official publication of all laws, decrees and official statements of state bodies", according to the RBTH website.

Russia Beyond the Headlines already has partnerships with various publications in several countries, including, Italy, India, France, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Bulgaria and the US. The goal of the publication is to disseminate a more accurate portrayal of diversity and developments in Russian culture and the political and economic state of the nation.

According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta: "We believe that Russia is a diverse and complex country in a state of major transformation, still coming to terms with its long - sometimes painful, sometimes curious - history, that cannot be understood in the context of stereotypes. We would like to present significant facts and ideas that fall under the 'radar screen' of major international news outlets."

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-25 14:27

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The future of press regulation in the UK is currently the subject of intense scrutiny at the Leveson Inquiry, but as the Inquiry has seen, any future regulation must take into account multiplatform content and the internet.

Events in Egypt have prompted a surge in social media usage. Arabic is now the fastest growing language on Twitter.

Get inside the events happening in Egypt with the country's newest English language publication, The Egypt Independent.

Egyptian journalist Mona El-Tahawy describes her detention and assault by Egyptian police.

The world of social media as you have never seen it before: this video infographic show exactly how many users social networks have and their ever-growing influence.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.



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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-24 19:01

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Today is the final day of hearings for this week. The line-up brought before the inquiry today continued to feature high profile celbrity figures and legal experts. The witnesses were: "HJK", an anonymous member of the public who had a relationship with an unnamed celebrity; Sienna Miller, a British actress; Mark Thomson, a solicitor who has represented Naomi Campbell, Sienna Miller and others in landmark privacy cases; Max Mosley, former head of the FIA, a role which included running Formula One motor racing; and JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

"HJK"

This witness gave evidence "in camera", away from the press, under an anonymity order.

Sienna Miller

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-24 18:27

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In the MIT Media Lab, Dan Schultz, newly named Knight-Mozilla fellow, is working on something that could benefit journalists and readers alike, Nieman Lab reports. His invention could change the way you see the world - but he is not developing a pair of rose tinted spectacles - Schultz is creating "truth goggles".

These "truth goggles" are intended to take the form of open source software that journalists and readers alike can download for free and then, when they read articles, any claims that seem to be founded on dubious information would be highlighted and brought to the readers attention.

The software will rely on natural language processing, the same kind of technology that enables Siri to understand human speech, and analyse articles looking for statements that match subjects covered by research contained in the PoltiFact database. Subjects discussed in articles that match the database can then be given an equivalent rating, from 'true' all the way down to 'pants on fire'.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-24 13:28

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When it comes to press freedom, Latin America's reputation is less than stellar. Over the course of last week the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) reported an arson attack against a radio station in Argentina, two newspaper employees going missing in Mexico, a journalist being beaten and stabbed eight times in Bolivia, and an editor going on hunger strike in Venezuela to protest his imprisonment. And that's not even a complete list.

 

 

 

But despite the challenges, there are reporters who won't be deterred from chasing serious stories. Their work is independent, investigative, online - and thriving.

 

 

Plaza Pública

 

 

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-24 11:09

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Today is international day to end impunity. Every year journalists are murdered, but nine times out of ten their killers walk free. Find out more and watch the video here.

James Murdoch has resigned from the board of News Group Newspapers and Times Newspapers Ltd., meaning he is no longer on the boards of the Sun or the Times. But he still remains chairman of news international.

We're seeing the rise and rise of digital media: YouTube now has over 3.5 billion hits a day and over 800 million unique users a month.

Reporters Without Borders reports that journalists have been arrested and physically by security forces during the ongoing clampdown on protesters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.

And finally, Google announces some concessions to its new initiative to charge some users for its Maps API

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-23 19:16

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The Leveson Inquiry in phone-hacking has now heard evidence from core participants for the third consecutive day.

The witnesses who gave testimony today were: Mark Lewis, solicitor for the Dowler family, Sheryl Gascoine, the former wife of Paul Gascoine, a former Daily Telegraph journalist named Tom Rowland, whose phone was hacked to gain information about his wealthy and famous contacts, along with Gerry and Kate McCann, who have already won libel a case against Express Newspapers for the way in which the press falsely implied the family were involved in death of their daughter.

Mark Lewis

Lewis submitted an addition to his witness statement today, although it has been removed from the Inquiry website.

Lewis is the second core participant to criticize Daily Mail writer Amanda Platell, who accused him of being a "greedy lawyer" and seeking a larger settlement sum, which was not true. Lewis contacted the lawyers at The Daily Mail and the article was removed from the website.

He also spoke in support of the importance of no win, no fee arrangements in bringing libel actions.


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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-23 18:55

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Would you rather watch a music video or play a game? The new, online, interactive video from We The Kings, says you shouldn't have to choose.

The video, released yesterday, lets you listen to the We The Kings' new single "Say you like me" while battling a gang of evil cartoon characters who have kidnapped the band's love interest. The video takes players through different styles of game, influenced by Guitar Hero, Mariokart, wii Tennis and Streetfighter, to name a few. The jokey blend of live action and references to old school arcade games is a lot like Edgar Wright's 2010 movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the difference being that here, the viewer actually gets to play the game (also, on a sadder note, there is no Michael Cera).

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-23 18:04

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Does the US government have the right to read you Twitter messages? Of course not, would be most people's reaction. Unfortunately, thanks to a US district court ruling made on November 10, the US government can now compel Twitter to release information that most people would deem private, such as your IP address, the content of your direct messages and your session times and activities, according to OWNI.

Why is this acceptable? The reason, the judge explained, was because in agreeing with the terms of service, Twitter users "voluntarily relinquished any reasonable expectation of privacy".

Twitter attempted to fight the ruling over a protracted year-long appeal process. However, losing the case has created a potentially dangerous precedent: the ruling could mean that any website with servers in the US could be asked to hand the data held on those servers to the government, without the need to obtain a warrant.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-23 15:57

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Today has been another day in which core participants have given evidence at the Leveson Inquiry in London.

After yesterday's testimony from the Dowler family and Hugh Grant - whose witness statement includes details of how the mother of his child received anonymous phone calls while Grant was speaking out against News International on BBC Question Time - it was the turn of British comedian Steve Coogan, Elle Macpherson's former personal assistant Mary-Ellen Field and the parents of Diane Watson, who claim their murdered daughter was unjustly portrayed by The Glasgow Herald as a bully.

According to The Guardian, Field explained how her employer encouraged her to go to rehab and lost trust in her capabilities after she assumed it was her that was leaking information to the press, when in fact it was the result of phone hacking. The accusations also cost her a position at Chiltern, an accountancy firm.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-11-22 19:42

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Many of the camps have been cleared. So what's next for Occupy Wall Street movement? And what's next for its press coverage?

This is a questions that New York Times journalist David Carr posed in a column on Sunday, where he considered whether the Occupy movement would "continue to keep its hold on the collective media imagination?" "Probably not," he reasoned: "when the spectacle disappears reporters often fold up their tents as well".

Carr ends by qualifying his argument, saying that the mark left by the Occupy Wall Street protestors might be visible in the debate leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Yet the thrust of the piece remains: the first, active phase of the movement is over.

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-11-22 19:35


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