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2:55 PM ET, April 9, 2020


 Top News: 
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Pence's office says it won't let public health officials appear on CNN unless the outlet airs the part of the briefing with the VP and other task force members  —  New York (CNN Business)Vice President Mike Pence's office has declined to allow the nation's top health officials to appear …
Justin Wise / The Hill:
18 US senators ask leadership to include aid in any future COVID-19 stimulus plan for recipients “who make a long-term commitment to high quality local news”  —  More than a dozen senators are calling for any future stimulus package addressing the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus …
Clara Hendrickson / Brookings:
Half of the US counties that have reported COVID-19 cases are news deserts and 57% lack a daily paper  —  While the coronavirus may be a global pandemic, the public health crisis has revealed the critical role of local news outlets currently working tirelessly to cover the impact of the coronavirus on their communities.
Discussion: The Guardian and @clarajanehen
PEN America:
A coalition led by PEN America asks Congress for $5B+ in its pandemic response to help journalism by increasing CPB funding, adding funds for newsrooms, more
Paul Tassi / Forbes:
Quibi's Punk'd will air in parts of Fortnite, potentially setting the stage for other content deals, as Fortnite shifts to becoming a virtual meeting space  —  In yet another step forward to becoming the Metaverse, dataminers have pulled out information about a new playlist coming to Fortnite which will …
Discussion: @emilybell and @peteschroeder
Zacc Ritter / Gallup:
Gallup: general US attitudes toward media are unchanged since 2018 with 34% having a favorable or somewhat favorable view thereof, largely correlated with party  —  As news about the novel coronavirus has gripped the country in recent weeks, a series of Knight Foundation/Gallup surveys finds …
Patrick Frater / Variety:
Sony acquires a $400M, or 5%, stake in Bilibili, a Chinese online entertainment platform that spans video to mobile games and says it has 116M DAUs  —  Sony is to pay $400 million for a minority stake in Chinese online entertainment platform Bilibili.  The deal values Bilibili at $8 billion.
Gaspard Sebag / Bloomberg:
France orders Google to pay publishers to display article snippets, starting from October of 2019, and gives three months to come to terms with publishers  —  - Watchdog says Google may have caused ‘serious’ harm to press  — Antitrust agency issues interim measures after press complaint
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Ofcom launches a probe into local TV station London Live after it broadcast an interview with David Icke, who claims the pandemic is a government plot  —  Local TV station showed clips of David Icke claiming coronavirus was part of plot by governments  —  Local television station London Live …
Discussion: Press Gazette, BBC,, BBC and Deadline
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Disney says Disney+ has 50M+ paid subscribers globally, and that its April 3 launch in India accounts for 8M Disney+ subscribers  —  Disney announced that the company has surpassed 50 million paid subscribers, following their launch in India and eight Western European countries (UK, Ireland …
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Sources: Hearst CEO Steven Swartz told publishers and editors that Hearst is giving a 1% bonus to employees and plans no furloughs or pay cuts amid the pandemic  —  The company's CEO instead announced raises and a bonus merit pool and eliminated budget targets for executive bonuses
Jesper Doub / Facebook Journalism Project …:
Facebook provides $3M in funding to the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund in partnership with the European Journalism Centre, which will disburse funds  —  Facebook invests $3 million in new European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund  —  The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions …
Discussion: HoldtheFrontPage and Fox News
Brent Lang / Variety:
ViacomCBS launches a $100M fund to provide support to crew members, actors, and filmmakers affected by the production shutdown caused by the pandemic  —  ViacomCBS has launched a $100 million fund to provide support to the crew members, actors, and filmmakers whose livelihoods have been impacted …
Discussion: The Wrap
Tristan Greene / The Next Web:
A look at the racist, right-wing conspiracy blog that Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House press secretary, ran until 2016  —  I'm about three hours into a deep wallow in new US Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's blog and - spoiler alert - it's a hot mess full of racism, Islamophobia, and right-wing conspiracy theories.
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Some of the biggest names in right-wing media are questioning the official COVID-19 death toll, suggesting the numbers are inflated to make Trump look bad
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 More News: 
Jack Hough / Barron's Online:
Interview with Bob Iger on how the entertainment industry and Disney might change after the pandemic, the mood at Disney, and more
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Ten health reporters from across the globe discuss dropping their other assignments to cover the biggest story of their careers while also trying to stay safe
 Earlier Picks: 
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
The Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund says it will give newsrooms in the city $2.5M to cover COVID-19
Nathan Bomey / USA Today:
Gannett board adopts a poison pill, aimed at blocking any hostile takeover attempts, after announcing cost cuts and a dividend suspension on April 1