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7:10 AM ET, August 21, 2019

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 Top News: 
Max Willens / Digiday:
Facebook to hire a small team of journalists to curate a Top News section in its upcoming news tab, which it will begin testing in the US by the end of October  —  Facebook famously got rid of its “trending topics” editorial team back in 2018.  Now, it's again hiring editors — just don't expect “trending 2.0.”
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook releases first findings from a conservative bias audit, says initial findings influenced policy changes like creation of a content oversight board  —  Facebook will release the findings of a roughly year-long conservative bias audit Tuesday, along with changes to its advertising policies as a result, executives tell Axios.
Ethan Zuckerman / My heart's in Accra:
Ethan Zuckerman, director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, says he plans to leave the MIT Media Lab in May 2020 due to the lab's ties to Jeffrey Epstein  —  A week ago last Friday, I spoke to Joi Ito about the release of documents that implicate Media Lab co-founder Marvin Minsky in Jeffrey Epstein's horrific crimes.
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Brian Karem, Playboy's White House correspondent and a CNN contributor, files a lawsuit against the White House, seeking restoration of his press pass  —  Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the White House after his credentials were suspended for a month.
NBC News:
How The Epoch Times, driven by ties to Falun Gong, became a part of Trump's 2020 strategy by spending big on pro-Trump Facebook ads and peddling conspiracies  —  Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to “provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate …
Mark Bergen / Bloomberg:
Sources: to satisfy regulators, YouTube officials are finalizing plans to end targeted advertisements on videos kids are likely to watch  —  - The solution could impact ad sales for the video giant  — Groups that complained to regulators aren't satisfied by fix
Ira Boudway / Bloomberg:
Profile of The Athletic, which now has 400+ editorial staffers and expects to have ~1M subscribers by 2020; source: a funding in May valued it at about $500M  —  Alex Mather would like you to know that he loves newspapers.  He's loved them since he was a kid growing up in Philadelphia.
David Yaffe-Bellany / New York Times:
How companies like McDonald's and Facebook use podcasts, such as Gizmodo-produced The Sauce, as subtle brand-building efforts meant to entertain and persuade  —  With podcasts rising in popularity, it's no surprise that companies are producing their own.  What's more surprising is that people are actually listening to them.
Pat Caldwell / Malheur Enterprise:
Malheur County officials in Oregon request a criminal investigation into The Malheur Enterprise reporters over after-hours phone calls and emails to officials  —  The calls come after investigative reports about county economic development projects  —  UPDATE: A comment from a sheriff's commander …
Han Zhang / New Yorker:
A look at College Daily, a nationalistic Chinese news site producing viral content for Chinese students living overseas, with 1M+ readers a day mostly on WeChat  —  On a Monday morning in February, members of the staff of College Daily, an online Chinese-language publication for Chinese students living …
Daniel Frankel / Multichannel News:
Pluto TV partners with NFL to create The NFL Channel, which will show highlights and full reels of classic games and recaps of old seasons  —  The NFL Channel will “celebrate seasons past” with season recaps, classic games and archival episodes of “Hard Knocks”
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Apple Music launches a new chart, the Shazam Discovery Top 50, powered by Shazam data and featuring songs trending in the US and 10+ other countries  —  Apple continues to make use of Shazam, the music recognition app it acquired for $400 million in 2018.  Earlier this month …
 
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 More News: 
Jacob Granger / Journalism.co.uk:
Chris Duncan, managing director of The Times, on how the paper patiently grows digital subscriber numbers using free trials, samples, and key usage data
Kate Irby / The Fresno Bee:
Four months after announcing a lawsuit, Rep. Devin Nunes serves McClatchy with paperwork, suing in Virginia; McClatchy does not publish a paper in Virginia
Discussion: @marekthebee
Molly Conger / The Guardian:
Freelance reporter Molly Conger on losing her column with a weekly paper in Charlottesville after a police association complained about her reporting
 Earlier Picks: 
Cynthia Littleton / Variety:
Altice USA partners with CuriosityStream to bring its science- and history-focused subscription streaming service to all 4.9M Altice customers in 21 states
Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times:
After retrial, former LAT columnist T.J. Simers wins $15.45M in damages over age and disability bias claims against LAT, doubling the $7.1M award voided in 2016
Twitter:
Twitter says it will no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities, but the rule does not apply to “taxpayer-funded entities”