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3:30 AM ET, February 13, 2014

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 Top News: 
David Gelles / DealBook:
Comcast Set to Acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 Billion  —  Comcast is expected to announce on Thursday an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable for more than $45 billion in stock, a deal that would combine the biggest and second-biggest cable television operators in the country.
RELATED:
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable in $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal, Says CNBC  —  CNBC's David Faber this evening tweeted that multiple unnamed sources have indicated to him that Comcast (CMCSA) will announce tomorrow a deal to purchase Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $159 per share, in an all-stock deal.
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Here's Why the Biggest Cable Company in the Country Thinks It Can Get Bigger  —  So Comcast, in a sort-of surprise, is going to end up buying all of Time Warner Cable for itself.  —  If you are a regular person, and you hear that the biggest cable company in the country is going to buy …
Discussion: @davewiner and @antderosa
Om Malik / Gigaom:
Comcast and Time Warner Cable: Forget TV, it is all about broadband  —  If it is allowed to gobble up its number two rival, Time Warner Cable, Philadelphia-based Comcast will become the largest broadband provider in the United States, and perhaps the largest outside China.
Discussion: Reuters and Home Media Magazine
Bloomberg:
Apple Said to Plan New Set-Top Box Amid Time Warner Cable Talks  —  Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Here's What the New Apple TV Could Look Like (Hint: Check Your iPad)  —  Apple is reportedly prepping a new version of Apple TV, which would work like a cable set-top box.  Apple is working with Time Warner Cable to launch the device this year, Bloomberg says.
Discussion: Gigaom and MacRumors
Joseph Lichterman / Nieman Journalism Lab:
Media Standards Trust updates its “churnalism” tools  —  The U.K.'s Media Standards Trust has released an updated version of Churnalism, its tool to identify news stories that are thin rewrites (or outright cut-and-paste copies) of press releases.  In addition to a revamped website …
Discussion: Media Standards Trust
Hu Yong / Nieman Reports:
China's market-oriented media face a precarious future  —  Two-thousand-and-three was a milestone year for investigative journalism in China.  Some media organizations had been transformed from Communist Party propaganda tools into market-oriented news outlets.
RELATED:
David Sirota / PandoDaily:
PBS station WNET financed “Pension Peril” series with $3.5M donation from Arnold Foundation  —  The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the secret corruption inside PBS's news division  —  On December 18th, the Public Broadcasting Service's flagship station WNET issued …
Jeff Bercovici / Forbes:
Who Rules The Second Screen, Facebook Or Twitter?  —  Twitter's user growth in the last couple quarters may have been less than stellar, but one place the social messenging service hasn't disappointed is its hold on television viewers.  Twitter executives see the so-called second screen experience …
Discussion: @rachaelrad and @kevinweil
RELATED:
Andrew Wallenstein / Variety:
Facebook Lays Claim to Twitter's Live TV Territory
Discussion: @jimconnolly
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Yahoo's Contextual Homescreen App Aviate Adds A Smart “Listening Space” For Music Lovers  —  Aviate, the contextual Android homescreen application Yahoo bought for $80 million in January, has rolled out an update today which introduces a smart “Listening Space” that allows users to more easily find …
Discussion: Aviate Blog, Gigaom and The Next Web
Deutsche Welle:
Myanmar: School of journalism in the making  —  Germany's Federal President Joachim Gauck has praised DW Akademie's efforts to set up a much-needed journalism school in Myanmar.  He referred to the project in a speech given this week at Yangon University.  —  The first national school …
Rem Rieder / USA Today:
Battling for profitability, GlobalPost adds “Voices” commentary with $100k Ford grant  —  Rieder: Digital journalism's financial challenge  —  Foreign news site GlobalPost launches a new feature with foundation support.  —  Being a digital journalism entrepreneur is not for the fainthearted.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Nielsen Pauses Effort To Report Broadband-Only Audiences Watching Local TV  —  Nielsen is putting its efforts to divulge broadband-only households watching programming from local TV stations on hiatus, after various requests from the TV industry.  —  Because of technical issues …
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
Is U.S. press freedom really ‘plummeting’?  Not if you look at the data.  —  This year's global press freedom ranking, released annually by the international NGO Reporters Without Borders, appears to show something alarming: The U.S. has dropped in the rankings from the world's 32nd most free for media to only 46th.
Discussion: @jcstearns and The Huffington Post
David Lieberman / Deadline.com:
CBS Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates And Says It Will Add $1.5B To Share Buys This Quarter  —  CBS shares are up in post market trading after it reported the ambitious stock repurchase plan — bringing Q1 buying to $2B — and Q4 results that exceeded forecasts just about everywhere except in local broadcasting and its billboard operation.
Rebecca Greenfield / Fast Company:
Why The New York Times Hired A Biology Researcher As Its Chief Data Scientist  —  It doesn't come as a huge surprise that the New York Times has hired a chief data scientist.  Even 162-year-old media companies know that technology will play a huge role in the future of journalism.
Discussion: @butterworthy and @chanders
Sam Kirkland / Poynter:
Does it matter that mobile-native Quartz has a mobile-minority audience?  —  As much as mobile is poised to keep growing in 2014, old desktop habits die hard — especially during business hours.  That leaves Quartz, Atlantic Media's 18-month-old business site, with a fascinating hand after going all-in on mobile.
Discussion: @poynter
Craig Timberg / Washington Post:
Foreign regimes use spyware against journalists, even in U.S.  —  Mesay Mekonnen was at his desk, at a news service based in Northern Virginia, when gibberish suddenly exploded across his computer screen one day in December.  A sophisticated cyberattack was underway.
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
The Facebook Effect on the News  —  Social networks are the new front page and homepage for news.  But on Facebook, it's not the “news” that readers come to see or click to leave.  —  Around this time last year, I considered writing a story claiming that Facebook and Twitter were the new “homepages” for news on the Internet.
Ryan Faughnder / Los Angeles Times:
Second-screen apps?  Viewers say ho-hum, but execs see potential  —  Andrew Lincoln appears in a scene from “The Walking Dead.”  The show has been using second-screen technology to engage viewers.  (Gene Page / AMC)  —  Networks, advertisers and tech start-ups have been trying …
Michael Sebastian / AdAge:
Indy Star's Bizarre Tale of Real-Life Exorcism Wins Huge Mobile Traffic, but Cashing In Is Harder  —  Haunted House Story a ‘Serendipitous’ Big Draw for Gannett Paper  —  Gannett's Indianapolis Star is happily learning what movie studios have long known: Ghost stories are a huge draw.
Discussion: @gangrey and @romenesko
Geoffrey King / Committee to Protect Journalists:
The NSA Puts Journalists Under a Cloud of Suspicion  —  In fall 2013, the U.S. National Security Agency quietly began booting up its Utah Data Center, a sprawling 1.5 million-square-foot facility designed to store and analyze the vast amounts of electronic data the spy agency gathers from around the globe.
Discussion: Guardian and @cpjinternet
Al Jazeera English:
CPJ slams charges against Al Jazeera staff  —  Watchdog says detained journalists face a political trial and that press freedom in the country is in sharp decline.  —  The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned Egypt's charges against Al Jazeera staff, and said that press freedom in the country is in sharp decline.
Discussion: BBC
Johana Bhuiyan / Capital New York:
The very public growth of The Intercept  —  The Intercept, the new startup title funded handsomely by eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, debuted Monday and created buzz both for simply showing up and for its content: An article examining the use of drones to kill government-selected targets abroad …
 
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 More News: 
Lee Hutchinson / Ars Technica:
Slashdot's new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant
Discussion: The Switch
James Poniewozik / TIME:
HLN, Social Media, and the “If It Trends, It Leads” Problem
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Louise Ridley / Media Week:
The Week to launch in Middle East with licensing deal
Michael O'Connell / Hollywood Reporter:
Esquire Network Finds a Few Good Men — But Only a Few
Ted Johnson / Variety:
U.S. Trade Representative Identifies ‘Notorious’ Piracy Sites
Andrew Osborn / Reuters:
European press chief to UK: Ease up on Guardian over Snowden leaks
Discussion: @nickpickles and Guardian
Net News Check:
AH Belo Digital Rev Up 18% In 2013
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and Poynter
 Earlier Picks: 
Press Gazette:
£250k spent on deciding who will appoint press regulation recognition panel
Andy Plesser / Beet.TV:
John Battelle on His New Venture: Programmatic for Publishers Big and Small
Merrill Knox / TVNewser:
Fox News Latino to Increase Video Production
Alice Su / Wired:
In the Middle East, Arabic Wikipedia Is a Flashpoint — And a Beacon
Nick Vivarelli / Variety:
MacNeil/Lehrer Productions Teams Up With Al-Monitor For Middle East Web Specials
Gideon Spanier / London Evening Standard:
Net-A-Porter's glossy mag is raising hackles at Vogue
Discussion: Mediawire Daily