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6:25 PM ET, November 20, 2014


 Top News: 
Alyson Shontell / Business Insider:
Exodus of revived Valleywag's original team complete as Nitasha Tiku heads to The Verge to bolster Silicon Valley coverage  —  Valleywag Editor-in-Chief Nitasha Tiku Joins The Verge  —  Less than one month ago, Nitasha Tiku was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of Gawker's tech lifestyle section, Valleywag, in place of Sam Biddle.
Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
Jeff Bezos Makes His Mark on Washington Post With New Kindle App  —  WASHINGTON — In recent months, The Washington Post has been worried about reducing cognitive overhead.  The phrase, borrowed from its new owner, the billionaire Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, refers to the number …
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Washington Post launches twice-daily tablet editions on Amazon Fire app  —  The Washington Post tablet app for Kindle Fire is a highly visual news experience aimed at a national and international readership.  It offers two editions a day, as well as updates for breaking news.  (The Washington Post)
Re/code drops comments on its site, noting that most discussion takes place on social media  —  A Note to Re/code Readers  —  Like all websites, Re/code is in a constant process of iteration.  So, starting today, you'll notice a few changes on our site, and we wanted to let you know about them.
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith Says His Uber Scoop Didn't Need a Disclosure  —  Ben Smith and BuzzFeed had a whopper of a story on Monday, when BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief reported on an Uber executive's plan to smear journalist Sarah Lacy.  —  A few days later, in some corners of the Internet, Smith and BuzzFeed are now the story.
Johana Bhuiyan / BuzzFeed:
Uber document shows it sought to hire researcher to “weaponize facts” against incumbent taxi and limo industry, not journalists
Jim Romenesko:
GateHouse Media parent to buy Halifax Media  —  Just announced:  —  TO: GateHouse Media and LMG Employees  —  FROM: Kirk Davis, CEO, GateHouse Media LLC  —  RE: Halifax Media Asset Purchase Agreement Announcement  —  DATE: November 20, 2014  —  I'm pleased to announce …
New York Times:
Huffington Post Is Said to Be in Talks to Host a Jill Abramson Journalism Start-Up  —  Jill Abramson, a former executive editor of The New York Times, and the journalist Steven Brill are in talks with The Huffington Post to host a new journalism site that would run long articles monthly …
Mathew Ingram / Gigaom:
Google launches Contributor, a subscription service that lets users contribute to participating sites and turn off Google ads  —  Google launches Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers  —  Google is launching a new service for websites called Contributor, which allows users to sign …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
David Rhodes to head CBS News as Jeff Fager steps down as chairman  —  Jeff Fager has stepped down as chairman of CBS News, leaving full command of the news division to David Rhodes, two sources at the network told POLITICO on Thursday.  —  Fager, who spent four years as chairman …
Justin Ellis / Nieman Lab:
Jennifer Preston on leaving The New York Times, joining the Knight Foundation, and spurring innovation in newsrooms  —  Jennifer Preston has plenty of experience in the journalism business: “I've worked as a city hall bureau chief, a circulation marketing manager, a deputy metro editor, a senior newsroom manager.
James West / Mother Jones:
New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent  —  The New York Times indicated today that it's getting close to a round of forced layoffs of its journalists.  —  The newsroom-wide email sent Thursday morning, obtained by Mother Jones, details responses to employee questions …
Peter Sterne / Capital New York:
Jack Shafer on losing his job, and the state of things  —  I called up the legendary media critic Jack Shafer after word got out he'd been laid off at Reuters.  There was some idea of putting it all together into an article but he speaks too well for himself for us to publish it any other way than as a Q and A. So here you go.
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Music agents rely on data to identify potential hits, entrenching repetitive, derivative songs  —  The Shazam Effect  —  Record companies are tracking download and search data to predict which new songs will be hits.  This has been good for business—but is it bad for music?
Emiliano De Cristofaro / The Conversation:
Lessons on censorship from Syria's internet filter machines  —  Norwegian writer Mette Newth once wrote that: “censorship has followed the free expressions of men and women like a shadow throughout history.”  As we develop new means to gather and create information...  Emiliano De Cristofaro
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Web-Video Startup Pluto TV Raises $13 Million from U.S. Venture Partners, UTA, Sky and Others  —  Pluto.TV, a startup whose service aggregates Internet video in a TV-like grid, has closed $13 million in Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners, with participation from UTA …
Discussion: VentureBeat, Forbes and Deadline
Alex Kantrowitz / AdAge:
Betaworks Tries to Solve the Mobile Ad Unit Problem  —  Startup Factory Pivots Tapestry, Places Focus Completely on Advertising  —  Betaworks — the startup factory responsible for hits such as Dots, Chartbeat and Bitly — is throwing its hat into the advertising game, hoping it can build a better mobile ad unit.
Sharky Laguana / Medium:
Change How Streaming Royalties Are Calculated And Save The Full-length Album While You Are At It  —  Change How Streaming Royalties Are Calculated And Save The Full-length Album While You Are At It  —  Streaming services, most notably Spotify (by far the largest) use what could be called …
Discussion: @theblakemorgan and hypebot
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Netflix Still Dominates Streaming, but Amazon Is Picking Up Steam  —  Netflix is still king of the video streamers, followed by YouTube.  But Amazon, which has lagged far behind for many years, is beginning to make a move.  —  That's the takeaway from a new report from Sandvine …
Jason Lynch / Quartz:
Sorry, Netflix: Serial proves that the best shows shouldn't be binged on  —  It's Wednesday, and I can barely stand the anticipation.  After six agonizing days, I'm less than 24 hours away from being able to download a new episode of my newest obsession, and fall's most riveting, addictive show: the weekly podcast Serial.
Katrin Bennhold / New York Times:
A Tabloid ‘Fake Sheikh,’ Bane of Crooks and Royalty, Finds He's Now the Story  —  LONDON — Mazher Mahmood was 21 when he first posed as a wealthy sheikh.  A reporter from Birmingham, England, intent on exposing a prostitution ring at a local hotel, he donned a white robe he had bought …
Discussion: Spectator
Ben Sisario / New York Times:
Billboard Top 200 album chart will incorporate streaming data starting Dec. 3 from services including Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play, Xbox Music  —  Billboard, Changing the Charts, Will Count Streaming Services  —  Streaming music services like Spotify have brought big changes to the music industry.
Egypt's Sisi says pardon for Al Jazeera journalists ‘being discussed’  —  (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday he was considering pardoning two of the three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in his country.  —  The three journalists were sentenced to between seven …
Digital Book World:
Simon & Schuster Strips “Buy It Now” Requirement from Library Ebook Program  —  When Simon & Schuster launched its library ebook program in June, it stipulated that participating libraries must offer a “Buy It Now” button allowing patrons to purchase the ebooks they borrow.
Discussion: Publishers Weekly
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 Featured Newsletter: 
75% of large subscription publishers offer discounted trials  —  The majority of large publishers with digital subscription products are currently offering discounted trials to help drive new subscriber acquisition, according to Toolkits research.
 Who's Hiring in Media? 
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 More News: 
Reporters Without Borders:
Freedom of information in decline for past two years in Iceland
Roy Greenslade / Guardian:
Closed trial for Chinese journalist Gao Yu, facing a life sentence for leaking internal CCP documents, begins Nov. 21
Discussion: Human Rights Watch, DW.DE and RFA
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
MailOnline to change to in US for brand recognition, higher ad revenue
Liat Clark /
Human rights groups release open-source Detekt anti-surveillance software for activists, journalists; available for free, only on Windows for now
 Earlier Picks: 
David L. Ulin / Los Angeles Times:
2014 National Book Awards go to Phil Klay, Evan Osnos, Ursula Le Guin
Discussion: GalleyCat and Guardian
Stuart Dredge / Guardian:
8tracks introducing recommendations to make the site more user-friendly to newcomers
Steve Albini / Guardian:
Music producer Steve Albini discusses how the music industry is thriving on the internet, the death of labels, and copyright law
Al Franken:
Sen. Al Franken asks Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for answers on privacy, God view tool, discipline for Emil Michael, and tracking journalists
Angela Doland / AdAge:
For the First Time, TV Will Account For Less Than Half of China's Ad Spending This Year