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11:20 AM ET, May 18, 2020


 Top News: 
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Ronan Farrow, while producing revelatory reporting, often omits inconvenient details in his stories and at times suggests conspiracies he cannot prove  —  He has delivered revelatory reporting on some of the defining stories of our time.  But a close examination reveals the weaknesses …
Joe DePaolo / Mediaite:
Trump ratchets up his attacks on a local news reporter, again sharing footage of the reporter being verbally abused by anti-lockdown protesters in Long Island  —  Four days after the video first caught his attention, President Donald Trump is ratcheting up his attacks on a local news reporter …
Dan Kennedy /
Boston Globe now has nearly 205K subscribers, up from 145K before the pandemic, though most new subscriptions were sold for ~$1/month for the first six months  —  The Boston Globe now has more than 200,000 digital subscribers, editor Brian McGrory said at a Zoom gathering of the Society …
Vice to lay off 55 in the US and ~100 globally, citing the fact that digital organization accounts for 50% of headcount costs but brings in about 21% of revenue  —  Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc on layoffs: 55 in US + ~100 globally: “The reality is that some tough decisions had to be made primarily around our digital teams. Currently, our digital organization accounts for around 50% of our headcount costs, but only brings in about 21% of our revenue”
Megan Graham / CNBC:
A reporter set up a bogus news website, scraping stories from CNBC, and says it was shockingly easy to generate ad revenue using various ad tech companies  —  - In recent years, it's become common for fraudsters to make ad-supported “news” sites with content scraped from legitimate publishers.
John Koblin / New York Times:
Comedy Central, a factory for A-list comedians, is in decline, losing almost all its top executives and, sources say, shifting to unscripted, cheaper shows  —  The network that made the careers of Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert and Amy Schumer has laid off top executives while looking to make shows that are cheaper to produce.
Scott Roxborough / Hollywood Reporter:
Several European countries, including Iceland, the Czech Republic, Poland, and France, have reopened for film and TV shoots with varying safety guidelines  —  Several European countries, including Iceland, the Czech Republic, Poland and France, have begun to allow film and television production under new COVID-19 guidelines.
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
As outlets learn to operate remotely, distributed newsrooms can attract greater diversity of talent, often lacking in coastal media bubbles  —  New York (CNN Business)The pandemic forced many journalists who previously crowded around media capitals such as New York City and Washington DC to abandon their offices.
US Sec. of State Pompeo alleges that China threatened to interfere in US journalists' work in Hong Kong and warned doing so may risk Hong Kong's status with US  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement on Sunday warning China the U.S. would take action if authorities interfere …
Lucinda Southern / Digiday:
French left-wing daily Libération, unprofitable since 1998, says it will shift to non-profit status; Libération owner Altice will cover its ~€50M debt  —  French newspaper Libération, founded by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, is transferring into a non-profit company in a bid to secure a more prosperous future.
Discussion: @rasmus_kleis
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 More News: 
Barton Gellman / The Atlantic:
Reporter describes being under surveillance and investigation by the US government after receiving documents from Snowden and how it affected his personal life
Max Willens / Digiday:
Digital publishers say the ad market is currently split between small and huge deals, eliminating $100,000-$300,000 deals that most large publishers rely on
Rob Harvilla / The Ringer:
Pitchfork's writers, editors, EIC Puja Patel, and founder Ryan Schreiber discuss the history and evolution of its album rating scale and 10.0 reviews
 Earlier Picks: 
Anna Clark / Columbia Journalism Review:
How The Plain Dealer's newsroom came to a close, after years of union member buyouts and staff cuts as management built up its digital-only news operation
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Q&A with The Atlantic's Adrienne LaFrance on Shadowland, the magazine's project on conspiracies, and on its growing audience, with 34K new subscribers in April
Wall Street Journal:
How “reputation managers” abuse DMCA notices to remove unwanted links from Google; Google restored 52K+ links and identified 100+ new abusers after a WSJ review