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11:55 AM ET, February 27, 2017

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 Top News: 
Annie Karni / Politico:
Sources: Sean Spicer warns staff against leaking to media in a meeting that included a check of phones, saying apps like Confide and Signal violate Records Act  —  The push includes random phone checks overseen by White House lawyers.  —  Press Secretary Sean Spicer is cracking …
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New York Times:
A frustrated Trump, used to controlling media with strategic tabloid leaks, ramps up attacks on an entrenched White House press corps and broader media  —  WASHINGTON — The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, has taken to slapping journalists who write unflattering stories with an epithet …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Sources: Sean Spicer had the CIA's director and a GOP official call reporters to discredit an NYT story on links between Trump's campaign aides and Russia  —  Exclusive: Spicer arranged CIA, GOP intelligence push-back  —  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer personally picked up the phone …
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
The White House appears to have leaked a story about a Politico reporter to the Washington Examiner, in retaliation for a story by the same reporter on WH leaks  —  Never let it be said that President Trump and his underlings don't work hard, especially when it comes to initiatives aimed …
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Former President George W. Bush says media is indispensable to democracy, in what is seen as a direct rebuttal of Trump's war on the press  —  Former President George W. Bush said Monday that the media is “indispensable to democracy,” a break from the position of his fellow Republican …
Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire:
Amazon Studios wins its first-ever Oscars with best foreign language film for “The Salesman” and best original screenplay for “Manchester by the Sea”  —  Amazon Studios won its first-ever Academy Awards on Sunday night, taking home three Oscar statues …
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Mark Olsen / Los Angeles Times:   ESPN Films won its first Oscar last night, with OJ: Made In America, an eight-hour documentary that divided critics because of its unusual format
Carole Cadwalladr / The Guardian:
How Robert Mercer steers politics through Facebook data and media, using Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart, the Media Research Center, aid to Leave.EU, and more  —  With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network
New York Times:
Swedish officials say they've never heard of a man who appeared on Fox News, identified as a Swedish national security adviser  —  A man described as a Swedish defense and national security adviser appeared on Fox News last week to defend President Trump's claim that criminal immigrants are wreaking havoc in Sweden.
Oliver Darcy / Business Insider:
Sources: Gretchen Carlson is in talks to join MSNBC; the former Fox News anchor settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for $20M last year  —  Gretchen Carlson, who settled a multi-million lawsuit late last year against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes …
Joseph Bernstein / BuzzFeed:
YouTube has attracted little scrutiny for hosting and rewarding creators of fake news, conspiracy theories, and hate speech  —  David Seaman is the Pizzagate King of the Internet.  —  On Twitter, Seaman posts dozens of messages a day to his 66,000 followers, often about the secret cabal …
Pete Brown / Columbia Journalism Review:
Study explores how 14 publishers are experimenting to reach audiences across 16 different social platforms  —  Despite publishers' disillusionment with low financial returns, there is no sign of them retreating from publishing material directly onto Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other distribution platforms.
 
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 More News: 
Erich Schwartzel / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: China's recent capital-control policy has stalled Chinese investments in Hollywood, including one deal that would have put MGM under Chinese control
James Vincent / The Verge:
Fox launches month-long pilot with Telstra and Ericsson preloading films onto phones, then asking customers to rent or pay for them
Leo Barraclough / Variety:
Film4's Head of Creative Rose Garnett appointed director of BBC Films
 Earlier Picks: 
Matt Pressberg / The Wrap:
How anime-focused Crunchyroll turned a streaming service for a niche audience into a global powerhouse with 1M paid subscribers
Boris Kachka / Vulture:
Exploring why New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood was fired after a management search of his work email
Benjamin Mullin / Poynter:
Interview with Mashable CCO on how beats, quality over quantity, and focus have increased unique views by 78% YoY and video views by 452% YoY to 320M/month
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Twitter opens up Periscope Producer to all users; the service lets broadcasters incorporate live video from sources other than their mobile device