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9:35 AM ET, December 27, 2018


 Top News: 
Max Read / New York Magazine:
Studies suggest that less than 60% of web traffic is human, with fake metrics, news, and bot-driven conversations and transactions, leading to falling trust  —  In late November, the Justice Department unsealed indictments against eight people accused of fleecing advertisers of $36 million …
Austin Murphy / The Atlantic:
Austin Murphy, a former senior writer at Sports Illustrated, on switching from a career in journalism to working for Amazon delivering packages  —  There's a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that's winning big.
Jeff Jarvis / Whither news?:
A look at what German media academics and journalists, including Mother Jones' CEO, are saying about the Der Spiegel scandal and the lessons to be learned  —  “Everyone who writes knows the seduction of the narrative.”  — Bernhard Pörksen in Die Zeit
Emily Birnbaum / The Hill:
MSNBC says it beat Fox News in the ratings for the first time in 17 years last week, surpassing it in total viewers between December 17-21  —  MSNBC beat out Fox News last week in key ratings for first time in 17 years, topping its competitor in total viewers for the first time since 2000, according to a news release from MSNBC.
Discussion: NBC Universal
Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic:
A look at Speakr, a social media influencer management platform that some influencers say has failed to pay them, with trouble starting in late 2017  —  The agency Speakr set influencers up with brands for lucrative campaigns—and then stiffed them.  —  After rising to MySpace fame in the mid-aughts …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
An overview of journalism in 2018, from the revival of the LA Times to the horrific murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi  —  In 2018, those who follow the fortunes of journalism in America probably heard a name — and, separately, a terrible nickname — for the first time.
Andrew Roth / The Guardian:
A list of 44 BBC reporters working in Russia, most of them Russians, was leaked online along with their photos, amid growing pressure on the broadcaster there  —  Leak comes after Times published names of journalists working for Moscow-backed Sputnik's UK bureau
Discussion: @jimwaterson
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
A look at Trump's relationship with the press in 2018: 70+ interviews granted but traditional briefings eschewed, anti-press rhetoric that led to violence, more  —  It can be easy to forget that, two years ago, the White House press briefing took place nearly every day.
Sahil Patel / Digiday:
CBS says its sports news streaming channel Sports HQ now delivers 10 hours of live programming daily on average with half of viewers watching on mobile devices  —  Armed with a new production studio in Connecticut and broadcast rights to this year's Super Bowl, CBS Sports is making a push behind …
Movie theater revenue bounced back in 2018 after a slow 2017; one analyst says investors are skeptical of sustained gains amid Netflix and Amazon competition  —  Reports of the death of movies are greatly exaggerated.  —  The exhibition business came roaring back in 2018, as blockbusters such as …
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 More News: 
Christian Shepherd / Reuters:
UK publisher Taylor and Francis has dropped more than 80 journals from its offerings to libraries in China at the Chinese government's request
Peter Jukes / Byline:
BBC's failure to adequately cover important stories like Brexit in the name of “balance” can turn it into a hostage to politics, rather than an observer of it
Wall Street Journal:
While Western companies publicly condemned Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing, many have retained their relationships with the Kingdom, including Bloomberg
Jean Marbella / Baltimore Sun:
Six months later, the Capital Gazette mass shooting still resonates, among family, the Annapolis community, and the news industry
 Earlier Picks: 
Craig Mod / Wired:
Although the functionality of digital books has largely remained the same for 10 years, technology has improved everything that goes into publishing a book
Max Willens / Digiday:
Salon is testing alternative revenue models, from an ad-free subscription to a partial paywall coming in 2019, as traffic falls 78% over last two years
Discussion: @noahpinion