Journalism in the Public Interest


What is it?

ProPublica’s PixelPing is a small snippet of javascript code that we’re asking all of our partners to paste into stories we publish together to let us know how well our story is doing.

Why are you doing this?

Our mission is to effect real change through investigative journalism. One of the ways we do this is by providing world-class reporting free of charge to news outlets with large, influential audiences.

An important piece of information we need in return is a sense of the size of the audience our stories reach on our partners’ web sites. PixelPing is simply an efficient way of getting basic page-view statistics quickly.

How does it work?

PixelPing functions much like Google Analytics, Tacoda, Quantcast, and other beacons—only much more simply. All you have to do is copy and paste the following line of code anywhere in the body of the article we’re co-publishing in your website’s content management system—if possible, somewhere close to the top of the story.

<script type="text/javascript" src="" async="true"></script>

What will my users see?

Nothing. This will not affect your web page layout at all.

What does it track?

Quite simply, it only counts the number of page views to the story on which the code appears. It doesn’t count unique visitors. It also doesn’t count anything on pages other than the one on which you loaded it.

Who will see the data?

We will hold the page view data PixelPing collects as confidential, and we will not share it with outsiders, period.

Does this violate my privacy policy?

We’re keenly aware of how seriously all of our partners take the privacy of their users. PixelPing does not attempt to track anything at all about visitors—neither individually nor in the aggregate—nor does it attempt to set or read any cookies.

Will it slow down my page or break my web pages?

No. We’ve tested our code extensively. Our code is designed to deal with heavy loads, and it’s designed to “fail gracefully,” meaning that even if our servers are overloaded or down, your web page will not be “blocked,” or prevented from loading . The javascript code on your page will always take precedence over PixelPing.

Who can I contact with questions about it?

Call Scott Klein, our Editor of News Applications at 917-512-0205 or e-mail him at


Photo by flickr user sparkieblues


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