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4:05 PM ET, October 10, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
G/O Media's Splinter is shutting down due to insufficient traffic; G/O editorial director says staff will be reallocated but some tweet they've been laid off  —  The website's parent company praised the outlet but said it failed to bring in sufficient traffic.  —  Splinter is shutting down.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Quartz says its website has been blocked in China and its app has been removed from the App Store due to government complaints about its coverage of HK protests  —  Quartz says its website has also been banned in mainland China  —  News organization Quartz tells The Verge that Apple …
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Lauren Strapagiel / BuzzFeed News:
Blizzard is facing an intense backlash after banning a player over Hong Kong pro-democracy comments, with some fans boycotting its games
Sara Fischer / Axios:
NYT hires Alex Hardiman as head of product, reporting to the COO; Hardiman has been chief product officer at The Atlantic and head of news product at Facebook  —  The New York Times has hired former Times product veteran Alex Hardiman as the company's head of product, reporting to chief operating officer Meredith Kopit Levien.
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
As power goes off for 800,000 to 2M in California, local newspapers have taken down paywalls, but we still need to talk more about paywalls and info amid crises  —  In what would be the world's fifth-largest economy by itself, at least 800,000 but as many as 2 million residents have already lost power …
Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
TheMaven CEO says the company plans to build three studios, two in New York and one in LA, to produce 20 hours of news per day for Sports Illustrated  —  Despite a brutal round of cutbacks that resulted in more than 50 people axed at Sports Illustrated last week, the new publisher “definitely” …
Gustavo Solis / San Diego Union-Tribune:
A look at local “fixers” in Tijuana, Mexico, who say the work can be particularly gruesome and journalists' requests are often “like a wish list to Santa Claus”  —  Margarito Martinez spent 10 nights sleeping inside his white minivan parked outside a Tijuana makeshift shelter …
Daniel Green / Journalism.co.uk:
Fact checkers from UK, Argentina, South Africa, India, and Iran explain how misinformation gains traction and how to fight it with tools like community meetings  —  How five organisations from four continents are identifying and dealing with false claims and misinformation specific to their region
Discussion: Press Gazette
Max Willens / Digiday:
To shift from advertising to subscriber revenue, NYT, WaPo, and Hearst added CMOs in 2018; Kantar: WaPo more than doubled its media spend YoY to $14M in H1 2019  —  Publishers pivoted to subscriptions, in part, to reduce their reliance on a business dominated by Facebook and Google.
Discussion: @lenfestinst
John Seabrook / New Yorker:
A behind-the-scenes look at how OpenAI's GPT-2 predictive text algorithm works, which can be “fine-tuned” to write phony customer reviews or even news articles  —  I glanced down at my left thumb, still resting on the Tab key.  What have I done?  Had my computer become my co-writer?
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook's choice to allow political ads with misinformation, while making ad details public, is not a perfect decision but it is a sensible and democratic one  —  It's a problem that needs more than a technical solution  —  If you see an ad on Facebook, should the contents of that ad be true?
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Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
Facebook refuses Biden campaign's request to take down a misleading Trump campaign ad, rejected by CNN, reigniting a debate about Facebook and political speech
Ken Doctor / Nieman Lab:
The Gannett-GateHouse merger may close around Thanksgiving, and over 10% of the workforce will likely be cut, with business-side jobs bearing the brunt of cuts  —  The megamerger is really happening.  Expect the new Gannett — the brand that will survive that chain's acquisition by GateHouse Media …
EU vs DISINFORMATION:
EU disinformation taskforce finds that 47% of articles on online news magazine EP Today, which is read by senior MEPs and ambassadors, come from RT.com  —  EP Today: A news website that doesn't write 99% of its articles, targets decision makers in the EU and misleads the public about the origin of most of their content: Russia Today.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Vice Media strikes an exclusive deal with Spotify to produce three original podcast series, with the first launching Nov. 12, about Iowa's Democratic caucuses  —  Vice Media, in another bid to diversify its revenue mix, struck a deal with Spotify to distribute three podcast series exclusive on the streaming platform.
Discussion: @vicecomms
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
At conference on Brexit, foreign journalists say UK media are being used by the government when it unquestioningly reports what anonymous government sources say  —  British journalists are being “played like an instrument” when they publish stories based on Government leaks and anonymous sources, a prominent media academic has claimed.
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Memo: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack disputes Ronan Farrow's claims that NBC mishandled Farrow's reporting on Weinstein and downplayed claim against Matt Lauer  —  NBC chief Andy Lack pushed back hard on Ronan Farrow's explosive revelations that the network mishandled the Pulitzer Prize winner's reporting …
RELATED:
Variety:
Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill has an interview with former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, who alleges that Matt Lauer raped her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics
 
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 More News: 
Martin Shelton / Freedom of the Press:
G Suite's lack of end-to-end encryption means US agencies could compel Google to hand over unreleased reporting, or even unpublished info about sources
Savannah Jacobson / Columbia Journalism Review:
How Jerry Zremski, Washington bureau chief for The Buffalo News, used deep experience covering Rep. Chris Collins to break the story of Collins' insider trading
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
How the Washington Free Beacon, the Federalist, and Fox News weaponized a story about Elizabeth Warren that was based on narrow facts and lacking context
 Earlier Picks: 
Matt Bonesteel / Washington Post:
The Sun takes down a story after Coleen Rooney, wife to soccer star Wayne, says she posted fake Instagram Stories and limited access to find out who was leaking
Washington Post:
DIA intelligence analyst is charged with leaking classified info to 2 journalists, allegedly to advance the career of one with whom he was romantically involved