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8:25 AM ET, January 3, 2013

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 Top News: 
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Al Jazeera Seeks a U.S. Voice Where Gore Failed  —  Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister.  It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case.
RELATED:
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Time Warner Cable Drops Current TV Upon Sale To Al Jazeera  —  NEW YORK — Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on Current TV just hours after news of the cable channel's sale to Al Jazeera became official.  “This channel is no longer available on Time Warner Cable,” read an on-screen message where Current TV used to be found.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
New Year, New Dish, New Media  —  When I first stumbled into blogging over 12 years ago, it was for two reasons: curiosity and freedom.  I was curious about the potential for writing in this new medium; and for the first time, I felt total freedom as a writer.  On my little blog, I was beholden to no one but my readers.
RELATED:
Jason Del Rey / AdAge:
Buzzfeed Raises $19.3 Million to Make LOL Content for the Social Web  —  Building a Giant War Chest That Signals Greater Ambitions  —  Buzzfeed set out to re-invent the notion of content for the social web by allowing pictures of cute animals to co-exist with serious political coverage.
Reuters:
NY Times loses bid to uncover details on drone strikes  —  (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday rejected The New York Times' bid to force the U.S. government to disclose more information about its targeted killing of people, including American citizens, who it believes have ties to terrorism.
Discussion: Gothamist and Politico
Andrew Beaujon / Poynter:
Why Gawker honored news blackout for James Foley but not Richard Engel  —  Gawker reporter Adrian Chen found out in December that journalist James Foley was missing in Syria but didn't report on his disappearance “at the request of Foley's family and the GlobalPost,” he writes.
Discussion: The Daily Beast and The Raw Story
RELATED:
Andrew Beaujon / Poynter:
Culture Editor Jonathan Landman to leave NYT  —  Culture Editor Jonathan Landman tells coworkers in an email that he's leaving the paper: … Landman was named culture editor in 2009 after running the Times' online operation.  Reached by email, Landman said he couldn't say what he's doing next.
Discussion: The Wrap
Hamilton Nolan / Gawker:
Journalism Is Not Narcissism  —  Every year, thousands of fresh-faced young aspiring journalists flood our nation's college classrooms, in order to learn how to practice their craft.  What should we tell them?  This, first: journalism is not about you.  —  Susan Shapiro, an author …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Sunshine on the paywall horizon  —  Financial Times columnist John Gapper explains why the trend toward paywalls could be good for journalism:
Discussion: Financial Times
Steve Friess / Politico:
C-SPAN apologizes for racy show titles  —  C-SPAN apologized Wednesday for a bizarre scheduling snafu that resulted in its online feed being topped with the title “Just Plain Dick” during the Senate's fiscal cliff debate on New Year's Eve.  —  “You may have seen tweets and postings online asserting …
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Maxim Recruits a Readership in Uniform  —  CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ark. — Scaling elevator shafts and sliding through sewers in mud-caked fields at a military training camp here would not be what most people would call a vacation.  But for 10 Special Operations soldiers from the Army, Navy …
Andy McSmith / The Independent:
Plans for the Privy Council to regulate Britain's newspapers  —  It was set up in 1231 by Henry III.  It met every day under Elizabeth I. But under Elizabeth II it hasn't been convened for 25 years.  So why does David Cameron think this centuries-old club can regulate the press?
Laura Hazard Owen / paidContent:
Hearst: “Nearly 800,000″ monthly digital U.S. subs, short of 1 million goal  —  In a New Year's letter to employees, Hearst Magazines president David Carey writes that the company has nearly 800,000 monthly digital subscribers in the U.S. “across iPads, Nooks, Kindle Fires and Android devices-the highest in the industry.”
RELATED:
Jim Romenesko:
Hearst Magazines digital subscriptions now generating profits
Discussion: @maryfitzger
 
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 More News: 
Richard Verrier / Los Angeles Times:
Hollywood keeps its tax break in ‘fiscal cliff’ deal
Discussion: The Wrap
Jim Romenesko:
Boston Globe shutters its New York City sales office
 Earlier Picks: 
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Washington Times to become ‘digital-first’
Source:
How We Made Snow Fall — A Q&A with the New York Times team
 

 
From Techmeme:

Walt Mossberg / Re/code:
iPad Air 2: best iPad ever, but only a modest evolutionary improvement over the Air

Molly Wood / New York Times:
Apple Pay: Seamless in Stores, but Quirky Online

Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
IBM's increasing EPS in recent years only due to buybacks, no real revenue growth since 2008

 
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