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4:50 PM 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 …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The media, which never fully reckoned with the mistakes of 2016, is on a course to help Trump turn “Obamagate” into the 2020 version of Clinton's emails  —  It's becoming clear that journalists never fully reckoned with the mistakes of 2016 campaign coverage.
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Disney's top streaming exec, Kevin Mayer, resigns to become CEO of TikTok and COO of parent company ByteDance; Disney names Rebecca Campbell as his successor  —  Kevin Mayer will lead the Chinese-owned app for making and sharing short videos, which has exploded in popularity during the pandemic.
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.
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  —  “What time exactly does your clock say?” asked the voice on the telephone, the first words Edward Snowden ever spoke to me aloud.
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 …
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.
David Cohen / Adweek:
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 …
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 More News: 
Etan Vlessing / Hollywood Reporter:
ViacomCBS Networks International promotes Ezequiel Fonseca Zas to GM of streaming and mobile for international, following Pluto TV launch in Latin America
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: 
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
As outlets learn to operate remotely, distributed newsrooms can attract greater diversity of talent, often lacking in coastal media bubbles
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
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
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