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11:00 AM ET, March 17, 2020

Mediagazer

 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.
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
Poynter:
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.
Discussion: ComingSoon.net
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:
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