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11:00 AM ET, March 17, 2020


 Top News: 
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Universal Pictures to make digital rentals of some new movies now in theaters available for $20 from March 20, and upcoming Trolls World Tour on its release day  —  In light of the movie theaters being brought to a standstill, Universal Pictures is changing the game.
Rebecca Rubin / Variety:
North American box office plunged to around $55.3M this weekend, its worst weekend since sales of $54.5M from September 15 to 17 in 2000
Hollywood Reporter:
Movie theater chains, including Regal Cinemas, Landmark Theatres, and Alamo Drafthouse, are temporarily closing their cinemas across the US until further notice
Washington Post:
Fox News hosts have quickly shifted their tone on the COVID-19 pandemic from media conspiracy to crisis, after Trump declared it a national emergency on Friday  —  For weeks, some of Fox News's most popular hosts downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, characterizing it as a conspiracy …
Facebook partners with the International Fact-Checking Network to offer $1M in grants of up to $50K to support fact-checkers working on COVID-19 misinformation  —  The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Facebook have partnered to support the fact-checking community working …
Discussion: Axios
Stefanie Murray / Nieman Lab:
A look at some of the collaborative efforts by independent newsrooms in states like Oregon, North Carolina, and New Jersey to cover the COVID-19 pandemic  —  Having access to accurate information can mean the difference between life and death during a crisis.
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube say they're working with each other and healthcare agencies to tackle misinfo about COVID-19  —  Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube put out joint statement promising to fight COVID-19 fraud and curb misinformation.
Max Willens / Digiday:
Some Spider Studios, a publisher that owns parenting sites Scary Mommy and The Dad, acquires media startup Fatherly  —  Some Spider Studios, a profitable social-focused publisher that owns parenting sites Scary Mommy and The Dad and employs close to 100 people, has acquired Fatherly …
Discussion: Adweek
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
How reporters at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio are struggling with deep staff cuts while reporting on COVID-19's spread in the state  —  News organizations everywhere are under immense pressure as a pandemic sweeps the globe.  —  Reporters scurry to cover an eruption of breaking news …
Tmera Hepburn / Cord Cutters News:
Acorn TV, AMC's film and TV streaming service with a focus on British content, extends its free trial from 7 days to 30 days for a limited time  —  The streaming service Acorn TV is giving new members a 30-day free trial, up from its usual 7-day free trial so you can start binge-watching new shows while you're cooped up inside.
Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide:
Tencent Q4: ~$1.03B in total online music revenue, of which $160M from music subscribers, up 60.1% YoY; paying music subscribers up 47.8% YoY to 39.9M  —  Tencent Music Entertainment, parent of China's biggest streaming music platforms, ended 2019 with 39.9m paying users worldwide.
Jamie Lang / Variety:
European media firms are navigating the loss of live sports during COVID-19 lockdown with replays of old games, free content, reduced prices of sports packages  —  A continent mad about sports has gone mad without sports.  This past weekend was the first in which nearly …
Rachel Abrams / New York Times:
Inside The Seattle Times' COVID-19 coverage, as nearly all of its 58 reporters cover a pandemic affecting their neighbors and friends while trying to stay safe  —  “That's what local papers are meant to do”: The journalists at The Seattle Times have been aggressively covering the coronavirus as it affects their neighbors and friends.
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 More News: 
Michael Schneider / Variety:
A look at Camel Rock Studios, a New Mexico film studio owned by a Native American tribe, as it capitalizes on the state's filming boom from Netflix and others
Elsa Keslassy / Variety:
French pay TV group Canal Plus says it will be free for the next few weeks or months during the country's lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
Disney Plus has partnered with O2 as its exclusive UK mobile network distributor, a week ahead of its launch
Discussion: The Streamable
 Earlier Picks: 
YouTube Creator Blog:
YouTube says it will be relying more on automated systems as content moderators stay home, and creators may see fewer strikes against videos but more removals
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
By lashing out at PBS's Yamiche Alcindor over questions about firing the Pandemic Response Team, Trump keeps trying to duck scrutiny for his own words and deeds
BBC says it will delay its plan to charge over-75s for license fees, originally set for June 1, until August 1 due to coronavirus