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4:25 AM ET, December 19, 2019


 Top News: 
Evette Alexander / Knight Foundation:
Knight study of 86M+ tweets: CNN and Yahoo! News attract a politically balanced following; the center left is the most vocal segment discussing political news  —  On Dec. 17, 2019, Knight Foundation released a two-part study analyzing the political dynamics of 86 million tweets.
Priyanjana Bengani / Columbia Journalism Review:
Investigation finds 450 “pink slime” websites, including 189 local news outlets, in 12 states, distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points  —  An increasingly popular tactic challenges conventional wisdom on the spread of electoral disinformation …
Andy Serwer / Yahoo News:
Talking Biz News, which tracks business journalists, was quietly sold to Qwoted, a site owned by two PR firms whose clients include newsrooms like Bloomberg  —  Talking Biz News unless you're a business journalist, in which case you're probably familiar.  The site, which was founded and run …
Raissa Robles / South China Morning Post:
Philippine court finds an ex-mayor and four family members guilty of murder of 57 in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, which included a large group of journalists  —  Ampatuan political dynasty sought to quash an election challenge by rounding up rivals and journalists, killing them and dumping bodies …
Rob Pegoraro / USA Today:
More than 100 PBS affiliated stations launch on YouTube TV, Google's $50/month cable alternative, available on the web and in apps  —  A missing link for cord-cutters just clicked into place: After the arrival of many PBS affiliates on YouTube TV Tuesday, viewers eager to flee high-priced cable …
Paul Blest / The Outline:
Publishers like Hearst should realize that opposing unions is counterproductive, as it delays the inevitable, costs money, and could ruin morale  —  Hearst is pushing back against its employees' union drive, but it would be advantageous for them to support it.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Spotify is prototyping Tastebuds, a social feature that allows users to interact with and discover music by searching the people they follow  —  Spotify is prototyping a new way to see what friends have been listening to, called “Tastebuds.”  Despite how discovering music is inherently social …
Investigation finds the Russian network connected to a leak of US-UK trade documents used Quora and the community section of BuzzFeed to spread misinformation  —  A network of social media accounts connected to a leak of US-UK trade documents has also spread false news stories online, a BBC investigation has discovered.
Independence Media:
Philadelphia's Independence Public Media Foundation announces a second round of grants, totaling $4.3M, to Media Mobilizing Project, Free Press, Chalkbeat, more  —  IPM is delighted to announce its second round of grants, totaling $4.3 million, including $3.6 million to six organizations …
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
A group formed by 3 former Fox News staffers who sued Fox or Roger Ailes ask presidential candidates to condemn NDAs dealing with workplace environment issues  —  A letter from three former Fox News employees is designed to pressure presidential campaigns to do away with NDAs, calling them “a driving force in silencing workers.”
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 More News: 
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:
Finnish social ad-tech company receives a €200M investment from Providence Equity Partners, sources say at a €300M valuation
Committee to Protect Journalists:
Report: 25 journalists were killed in 2019, down from 56 killed in 2018 and the lowest figure since 2002; Syria and Mexico were the deadliest countries
Elizabeth Jensen / NPR:
On-air source diversity data for NPR for FY 2018 shows 83% of sources were white, up from 73% in FY 2015, and 33% were female
Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch:
Ryff, whose tech identifies objects in a TV or movie scene and dynamically inserts branded products based on viewers' profiles, raises $5M
Discussion: VentureBeat
Joshua Fruhlinger / Thinknum Media:
Vox Media job listings show a drop in postings seeking freelancers for SB Nation starting in September, when California's AB5 law passed; staff openings rose 3x
 Earlier Picks: 
Wall Street Journal:
A look at WSJ's AI tool for drawing its iconic “hedcut” portraits, which is now available for all of its subscribers to use after uploading their photo
Kali Hays / WWD:
Former 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan sues New York magazine and writer Joe Hagan for a 2014 article about her and her Benghazi report that was retracted
Alison Flood / The Guardian:
Gary Larson launches with plans for occasional new work; he credits better online graphics, security, and a desire to dampen copyright infringers
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