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3:40 AM ET, November 21, 2014


 Top News: 
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.
Johana Bhuiyan / BuzzFeed:
Uber document shows it sought to hire researcher to “weaponize facts” against incumbent taxi and limo industry, not journalists  —  Uber Sought To Hire Opposition Researcher To “Weaponize Facts”  —  A document obtained by BuzzFeed News points to taxi industry targets, not journalists.
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.
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
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 …
Karl Bode / Techdirt:
Yet Another Study Shows US Satire Programs Do A Better Job Informing Viewers Than Actual News Outlets  —  By now it's sadly clear that the nation's satirical news programs do a significantly better job at reporting the news than most of the nation's actual news outlets, despite a fraction of the budget and experience.
Leela de Kretser / Capital New York:
New York gets ready for Rebekah Brooks  —  When Capital's Joe Pompeo first reported that Rebekah Brooks, famous for her role in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, was spending time at News Corp. headquarters at 1211 Sixth Avenue, flacks for the company told him she was just visiting to consider the future of her career.
Rob Evans / Guardian:
UK's Met police face legal action from 6 journalists for keeping database of their activities  —  Police face legal action for snooping on journalists  —  ‘Domestic extremists’ unit kept a secret database of details on journalists including medical history of family members
Cynthia Littleton / Variety:
CBS, Dish Network Agree to Short-Term Extension to Avoid Blackout  —  CBS and Dish Network are avoiding a blackout by agreeing to a short-term contract extension Thursday evening while negotiations continue.  —  The crux of the deal involves the expiration of Dish's deal to carry CBS' 29 O&O stations in 17 local markets.
Discussion: @jboorstin, @lucas_shaw and @shaliniwsj
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 …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
YouTube Music Awards to Return in 2015, But Not as a Live Event  —  Vidsite pacts with Vice Media to produce original content for March 2015 event  —  YouTube, as part of its stepped-up push into the music biz, will bring back the YouTube Music Awards next March and has renewed a pact with Vice Media to produce it.
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 …
Jasper Jackson / TheMediaBriefing:
Quartz and The Economist on what makes a good media business today and tomorrow  —  This article is the first in a series looking at some of the key issues and topics which will feature in our Digital Media Strategies event next March.  —  Quartz and The Economist are two quite different businesses serving broadly similar audiences.
Discussion: @miamabanta, @raju and Talking Biz News
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 …
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
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
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.
Dan Adams / Boston Globe:
New Media Investment Group, parent of Gatehouse Media, buys Halifax Media Group for $280M cash  —  Worcester Telegram and its parent company sold to New Media  —  The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, which was sold in May by Boston Globe owner John Henry to the Halifax Media Group of Daytona Beach, Fla., was sold again Thursday.
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 Featured Newsletter: 
The Media Roundup:
When should media shake hands with the VC devil  —  Today we're looking at the deal-with-the-devil nature of VC funding for media companies; how newspapers can inadvertently mislead the public over climate change …
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 More News: 
Egypt's Sisi says pardon for Al Jazeera journalists ‘being discussed’
Digital Book World:
Simon & Schuster Strips “Buy It Now” Requirement from Library Ebook Program
Discussion: Publishers Weekly
Katrin Bennhold / New York Times:
A Tabloid ‘Fake Sheikh,’ Bane of Crooks and Royalty, Finds He's Now the Story
Reporters Without Borders:
Freedom of information in decline for past two years in Iceland
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Music agents rely on data to identify potential hits, entrenching repetitive, derivative songs
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
MailOnline to change to in US for brand recognition, higher ad revenue
Discussion: and Press Gazette, Thanks:@sean_p_walsh
Liat Clark /
Human rights groups release open-source Detekt anti-surveillance software for activists, journalists; available for free, only on Windows for now