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5:00 PM ET, August 31, 2013


 Top News: 
Spiegel Online:
NSA Spied On Al Jazeera Communications  —  Arab news broadcaster Al Jazeera was spied on by the National Security Agency, according to documents seen by SPIEGEL.  The US intelligence agency hacked into protected communication, a feat that was considered a particular success.
Discussion: ABC News, @csoghoian and @pasternack
Ben Sisario / New York Times:
For News From Syrian Battleground, a Reliance on Social Media  —  When Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the United States' report on Friday about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he noted that “all hell broke loose in the social media” just 90 minutes after the alleged attack.
Margaret Sullivan / The Public Editor's Journal:
In News Coverage and Editorials on Syria, How Much Skepticism in The Times?  —  Many Times readers are looking at recent news coverage of Syria, and editorials on the same subject, through the lens of another international conflict: the United States invasion of Iraq.
Sara Morrison / The Wrap:
Syria Crisis: How the Networks Are Covering
Discussion: TVNewser and @huffpostmedia
Ken Doctor / Nieman Journalism Lab:
The newsonomics of big and little, from NBC News and GlobalPost to Thunderdome  —  Ah, the joys of big and of little.  —  In media businesses, little means few if any layers of bothersome decision-making.  Agility.  Nimbleness.  Independence.  All great and positive values.
Discussion: @kdoctor, @jayrosen_nyu and @niemanlab
Caroline O'Donovan / Nieman Journalism Lab:
AIR's Localore is putting down roots and trying to build a more networked public media  —  Freelancing new ideas in radio is hard.  NPR has its own substantial staff to generate ideas and projects, and most individual radio stations lack the resources or infrastructure to support many new ideas.
Discussion: @jbenton
Matt Buchanan / The New Yorker Blog:
Syria's Other Army: How the Hackers Wage War  —  At 5:41 P.M. on Tuesday, a tweet from the account of the hacker collective known as the Syrian Electronic Army, which supports the regime of Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad, said, “Media is going down...” It had been a couple of hours since …
Discussion: Crikey, BBC and Softpedia News
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
L.A. City Council to debate Time Warner Cable-CBS blackout  —  The Los Angeles City Council plans to wade into the contentious contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp., which has led to a four-week blackout of local CBS stations in more than 1 million homes in Los Angeles.
Discussion: @megjameslat
Joshua Benton / Nieman Journalism Lab:
New York Times improves its recommendations engine  —  Discussions about the future of news often feature a dystopian, filter-bubbly argument: Let people personalize the news they consume and it'll kill the common conversation essential to democracy.  —  I've always been suspicious of that argument.
Discussion: The Next Web and @niemanlab
The Media Briefing:
WPP's Sorrell: No media sector is safe from digital disruption  —  No media business is immune from serious disruption as the growth of digital, data-driven advertising continues unchecked, says Sir Martin Sorrell, the sloganeering leader of advertising and marketing giant WPP.
Discussion: @drewb, Thanks:@mediabrief
Townsquare Media buys 53 stations from Cumulus.  —  In deal-making that will solidify its position as the third-biggest radio group, Townsquare Media is adding 71 stations in 15 markets.  It'll do that a series of three deals, valued at a combined $281 million.
Beejoli Shah / Defamer:
Can Journalism Save Hollywood?  (Or Vice Versa?)  —  After Earth failed.  Lone Ranger flopped.  R.I.P.D. fizzled.  Studios' cash cow—the effects-laden, foreign-audience-compatible blockbuster—is drying up, and Hollywood is looking around for something new.
Laura Hazard Owen / GigaOM:
Heads up, ebook buyers: Here's how much you're likely to get in the Apple ebook settlement  —  All five publishers who were accused of conspiring with Apple to set ebook prices at the launch of the iBookstore have settled with the federal government and with the states, and until …
Discussion: CNET, TeleRead, Speakeasy and MacRumors
Dallas Morning News:
Time Warner customers to get Longhorn Network in time for Texas' kickoff  —  Texas head football coach Mack Brown answers question from the media on the new Longhorn Network studio desk.  ESPN in conjunction with the University of Texas show off their new Longhorn Network production offices …
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 More News: 
David Goetzl / MediaPost:
Nielsen Negotiates With FTC To Secure OK On Arbitron Deal
Chris Roush / Talking Biz News:
Bloomberg TV markets reporter leaves to freelance at CNBC
Discussion: @sheilad_tv
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
UK asked N.Y. Times to destroy Snowden material
Discussion: Mediaite
 Earlier Picks: 
Joe Pompeo / Capital New York:
How much does the ‘New York Post’ actually lose?
Mike Isaac / AllThingsD:
Twitter General Counsel Alexander Macgillivray to Leave Company
Sara Morrison / The Wrap:
Tribune Co. Profit Plunges Sharply on Lower Broadcast Revenue, Print Ads

From Techmeme:

The Reddit Admins / reddit:
Reddit to distribute equity to active users by lottery with ‘reddit notes’ in 2015

Staples Investor Relations:
Staples provides details on September breach: 115 stores' POS systems, 1.16M payment cards compromised

Mike Beasley / 9to5Mac:
Apple Pay claimed 1% of November's digital payment dollars, new report says

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