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9:50 PM ET, December 17, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook is funding a free 45-minute online Reuters course for journalists on spotting and handling manipulated media, now in English, French, Spanish, Arabic  —  Facebook is spending six figures to fund a course on manipulated media and deepfakes for newsrooms, executives tell Axios.
Kali Hays / WWD:
Media holding company Attention Capital buys Sophia Amoruso's Girlboss, which was valued at $13M in 2018; Amoruso will remain CEO  —  It's the first acquisition for recently founded Attention and the start of a new phase for Girlboss.  —  Girlboss founder and ceo Sophia Amoruso at the 2018 Girlboss Rally.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Audible announces founder Dan Katz will step down from CEO role on January 2, to be replaced by former Dun & Bradstreet executive Bob Carrigan  —  Audible, the Amazon-owned seller and producer of audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment, hired media and publishing veteran Bob Carrigan as CEO.
Discussion: Publishers Weekly and RAIN News
Alison Flood / The Guardian:
Gary Larson launches thefarside.com with plans for occasional new work; he credits better online graphics, security, and a desire to dampen copyright infringers  —  Beloved cartoons, which had been retired for 24 years without any official internet presence, now have an archive site with new work in the pipeline
American Society of Journalists and Authors:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors, representing nonfiction writers, sues California to stop AB5, a law effective Jan. 1 that impacts freelancers  —  American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc.  —  LOS ANGELES — The rights of independent journalists are under attack.
RELATED:
CNBC:
Vox Media to end contracts of hundreds of freelancers to comply with CA's new AB5 law, which will forbid non-employees from submitting over 35 articles a year
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook pilots a program in the US to use part-time contracted “community reviewers” to expedite the fact-checking process and aid its fact-checking partners  —  Facebook is creating a new pilot program in the U.S. that will leverage part-time contracted “community reviewers” to expedite its fact-checking process.
Ramona Giwargis / San José Spotlight:
San Jose mayor's office says it doesn't include online-only outlets in its daily “news clips” email; editor of San Jose Spotlight says the policy is outdated  —  When we launched San José Spotlight nearly a year ago, we came ready to work hard to earn — and keep — the public's trust.
Robert Channick / Chicago Tribune:
Memo: Nexstar is shutting down Chicago local news channel CLTV, a cable channel in operation since 1993; most employees will be able to apply for jobs at WGN-TV  —  Nexstar Media Group, which bought Tribune Media in September, is shutting down Chicago cable news channel CLTV at the end of the month.
Sara Jerde / Adweek:
Bustle Digital Group launches Input, a consumer tech news site, with no advertisers and a custom CMS that it says will be used across its brands by June 2020  —  Why BDG thinks its new CMS will draw readers and entice advertisers  —  Bustle Digital Group has a reputation of swooping …
Agence France-Presse:
Reporters Without Borders: 49 journalists killed in 2019, the lowest death toll since 2003; ~389 imprisoned, up 12% YoY; and 57 are being held hostage  —  Belfast residents pass a mural featuring murdered journalist Lyra McKee, whose death sparked a new round of political talks chaired by the British and Irish Governments, in May 2019
Dan Froomkin / Press Watch:
NYT's political coverage this weekend was a stunning display of bothsiderism and further proof of the collapse of NYT leadership  —  The New York Times's three-year struggle to sustain its reporting algorithms, built for two political parties that have comparable relationships to reality …
 
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 More News: 
Huw Edwards / LinkedIn:
BBC presenter Huw Edwards says critics are wrong to think its errors are partisan choices or that BBC echoes views of any one individual, like some newspapers
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
European Parliament approves proposal to create a prize for European investigative journalists in memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Janko Roettgers / Variety:
Luminary now lets Alexa users subscribe to its podcast service or start a free trial via simple voice commands and pay using Alexa payments
Tom Balmforth / Reuters:
Maria Butina, who was convicted of being a foreign agent in the US and deported to Moscow, has been hired by RT to host an online show
Patrick Frater / Variety:
UK's Cineworld agrees to buy Canadian cinema operator Cineplex for $1.65B, would become largest North American operator combined with its 2017 Regal purchase
Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
Netflix shares detailed overseas subscriber numbers for the first time in a filing, and says 90% of total subscriber growth came from outside the US since 2017
 Earlier Picks: 
Emily Bell / The Guardian:
Local news, with its ever-shrinking resources, cannot adequately counter “phantom local news” sites, which are set up to repeat talking points or disinformation