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3:35 AM ET, September 1, 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.
Margaret Sullivan / New York Times:
A Year in the Life of a Watchdog  —  IT'S a Monday morning in August — last Monday, to be precise — and more than 500 e-mails have arrived in the public editor's in-box.  Some are spam.  Some are requests for corrections or assignments, which can be sent to another desk.
Felix Salmon:
Do online business models matter?  —  Nick Bilton has an odd column up about Business Insider and NSFWCorp — two publications which he has picked to represent the “reliant on ad revenue” and “reliant on subscription revenue” business models, respectively.  He's particularly interested …
Discussion: @thelepathy and @mathewi
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.
Sara Morrison / The Wrap:   Syria Crisis: How the Networks Are Covering
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
Peter Jukes / The New Republic:
Murdoch's Papers Fight the Guardian (and Free Speech)  —  Journalism's circular firing squad, UK edition  —  While it might be a mite too early to assess the historic and political impact of Edward Snowden's leaks of top secret NSA documents, the first casualty is already clear: journalism.
Discussion: Mediashift
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 …
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
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.
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
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
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
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 More News: 
Beejoli Shah / Defamer:
Can Journalism Save Hollywood? (Or Vice Versa?)
Laura Hazard Owen / GigaOM:
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 Earlier Picks:
Townsquare Media buys 53 stations from Cumulus.
David Goetzl / MediaPost:
Nielsen Negotiates With FTC To Secure OK On Arbitron Deal