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1:55 PM ET, June 4, 2015


 Top News: 
75% of Gawker Media editorial staff voted yes to unionize and be represented by Writers Guild of America, East  —  Gawker Media Votes To Unionize  —  Yesterday, more than 100 Gawker Media editorial employees voted on the question of whether to be represented by the Writers Guild of America …
Joel Johnson / Gawker:
Former Gawker editorial director discusses details of business model, explains Kinja's failure, and says several sites have been shopped around  —  Congratulations, Edit!  —  Congratulations, Edit!  I think unionizing was a smart, brave decision, and one that gives you a chance at security in a turbulent environment.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Alibaba Invests $194M Into China Business News To Build A Financial Data Platform  —  Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant, is currently focused on investing internationally to grow its business, but is also continuing to build out operations at home.  In the latest move, it has invested $193.6 million …
Discussion: Business Wire and Quartz
J.K. Trotter / Gawker:
Twitter revokes API access for Sunlight Foundation's Politwhoops site, which showed politicians' deleted tweets, cites violation of developer agreement  —  Twitter Just Killed Politwoops  —  A Twitter spokesperson just provided the following statement to Gawker regarding the apparent suspension …
Leaked Arianna Huffington memo shows focus on continued global expansion, investment in video, acquisitions, and a global newsroom  —  Read Arianna Huffington's plan to ‘dominate the industry’  —  CNNMoney has obtained a copy of the Huffington Post's strategy for growth …
Discussion: @lisahopeking and @gjbarb
Ryan Knutson / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Dish in early stage merger talks with T-Mobile US; combined company likely to have Charlie Ergen as chairman, John Legere as CEO  —  Dish Network in Merger Talks With T-Mobile US  —  Dish, T-Mobile Have Agreed Charlie Ergen Would Be Chairman, John Legere CEO
Lucia Moses / Digiday:
Politico's VandeHei on aiming for influencers, cheapening content in search of scale, and keeping editorial and business separate  —  Politico's Jim VandeHei: Scale is a ‘deal with the devil’  —  At a time when publishers are grappling to diversify their revenue beyond advertising, Politico has an enviable business model.
Discussion: @gaberivera, @jasonclampet and @digiday
Stuart Dredge / Guardian:
SoundCloud signs deal with licensing agency Merlin to pay 20K independent labels for music streams, deal covers yet-to-launch subscription service  —  SoundCloud signs licensing deal to pay independent labels for music streams  —  Partnership with licensing agency Merlin also covers …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Yandex Launches Yandex.Radio, A Curated Free Music Service For Russian Users  —  Amid reports that Russia will be one of the first countries to get access to the new music service that Apple is reportedly launching next week, Russian search giant Yandex is enhancing its own.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Virtual-Cable Startup Layer3 TV Lands $51 Million Funding, Plans 2015 Launch  —  Layer3 TV, the secretive startup that calls itself a “next-gen cable company,” announced that it has closed $51 million in second-round funding, led by previous investors Evolution Media Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.
Emily Shackleton / Press Gazette:
Map of UK's local newspapers and websites reveals London news gap  —  London is one of the least covered region in the UK by local newspapers according to new research by Press Gazette.  —  Data detailing all the current active local newspapers in the UK reveals that London …
Mike Shields / Wall Street Journal: Invests $3 Million in Web Content Marketing Firm Taboola  — is investing $3 million in the content recommendation firm Taboola as the companies plan to develop advertising products together, including several that are geared toward improving the performance of sponsor-produced content.
Tony Maglio / The Wrap:
‘Transparent’ Season 1 Lands Audio Commentary Version on Amazon  —  Amazon unveiled an audio commentary version of critically acclaimed new series “Transparent” on Wednesday, with participation from creator Jill Soloway and cast members Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.
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 Featured Newsletter: 
Over half of readers attempt to circumvent publishers' paywalls  —  58% of digital publication readers say they regularly attempt to circumvent paywalls, down slightly from 63% in 2022.
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 More News: 
Jacob Adelman /
The Jewish Exponent lays off Philadelphia-based editorial staff, transferring newsroom management to Baltimore
Ben Fox / Associated Press:
US journalism courses in Cuba are seen as undermining official authority, which tightly controls media
Discussion: @ap
Roy Greenslade / Guardian:
Letter calls on Angola's president to drop charges against investigative journalist Rafael Marques after he was given a six month suspended sentence last week
Discussion: @fcancio
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:
Spotify's sorting of tunes by moods and activities instead of rigid genres expands discovery but produces one-hit wonders
Joseph Lichterman / Nieman Lab:
Tablet magazine charges for access to its comments, which has moved conversation to its Facebook page, says comment quality has increased and traffic is steady
Discussion: @niemanlab
 Earlier Picks: 
Janko Roettgers / Variety:
Why the Cloud Is Key to Charter's Big Deal for Time Warner Cable
Discussion: Forbes and @tvtechnology
Agence France-Presse:
US reporter Rezaian's espionage trial to resume in Iran on June 8
Discussion: New York Times and Poynter
Brian X. Chen / New York Times:
Sources: new Apple TV hardware will not be announced at WWDC
Natasha Vargas-Cooper / Jezebel:
The Toast publisher Nicholas Pavlich has left the company; The Toast is working with third-party publishing firm Hashtag Labs for now
Discussion: @nick_pavich
Sajith Pai / INMA:
How the blockchain could affect media: micro-payments, programming content, advertising
Stuart Dredge / Guardian:
Interview with Robert Kyncl, YouTube's head of content and business operations, about mobile focus, future growth