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3:50 PM ET, October 17, 2020


 Top News: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: as Facebook curbed political news in 2017, Zuckerberg OK'ed tweaks affecting sites like Mother Jones after some execs worried about impact on the right  —  Facebook's chief, once uninterested, has transformed himself into an active political operator in the Trump era
Ben Dreyfuss / Mother Jones:
Mother Jones' growth director recalls a sharp drop in Facebook reach in 2017 and '18, after WSJ reveals that algorithmic changes were made with politics in mind  —  Editorial Director for Growth and Strategy  —  For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more …
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Nielsen: Joe Biden's ABC town hall averaged 13.9M viewers, while Trump's NBC town hall averaged 10.6M; MSNBC and CNBC simulcasts of Trump brought total to 13M  —  New York (CNN Business)Joe Biden's town hall on ABC averaged 13.9 million viewers on Thursday night, easily surpassing …
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Despite fears that the NBC town hall would amount to free promotion for Trump, Savannah Guthrie grilled him and repeatedly challenged his evasions  —  The network was criticized for accommodating Trump after he rejected a debate.  But then the ‘Today’ host started asking him questions.
New York Times:
Twitter says it is now letting the NY Post link be shared because the info had spread so widely that it can no longer be considered private  —  The latest change underlined how rapidly social media platforms are shifting their positions in the days leading up to the election.
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
EU data protection authority finds IAB Europe's GDPR consent framework, adopted by Google and others, fails to meet required legal standards of data protection  —  A flagship framework for gathering Internet users' consent for targeting with behavioral ads — which is designed by ad industry body …
Lauren Harris / Columbia Journalism Review:
Q&A with the director of the NewStart initiative, which aims to connect people interested in newspaper ownership with owners looking to sell  —  Though a deepening economic crisis continues to plague the local news landscape in the United States, the NewStart initiative has set out to ensure …
Katherine Jacobsen / Committee to Protect Journalists:
Interviews with three foreign reporters on their experiences covering the US now, visa issues, safety concerns they have when going out into the field, and more  —  Covering elections as a foreign correspondent in the United States has traditionally meant press conferences …
Laura Wagner / VICE:
NYT AME Carolyn Ryan told staff that columnists have wide latitude to criticize colleagues' work, in contrast to a policy against criticism on Twitter or Slack  —  After Bret Stephens regurgitated criticisms of his colleagues' 1619 Project, NYT brass held a meeting to clarify who at the paper can write about what.
Jake Silverstein / New York Times:
A defense of the editing changes in summaries of The 1619 Project, following new criticisms from people including NYT columnist Bret Stephens
Vijaya Gadde / @vijaya:
[Thread] Twitter updates Hacked Materials Policy, says it won't remove content unless shared by hackers themselves and will label tweets instead of block links  —  Over the last 24 hours, we've received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday. After reflecting on this feedback, we have decided to make changes to the policy and how we enforce it.
[Thread] Twitter clarifies why it blocked the sharing of NY Post's Biden story, saying it contained private info and violated its Hacked Materials Policy
Paul O'Donnell / Dallas Morning News:
Journalists at The Dallas Morning News and Al Día have voted 84-28 in favor of a union, in an election overseen by the NLRB  —  The Dallas News Guild says it will soon elect officers so contract talks can begin. … The National Relations Labor Board in Fort Worth …
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 More News: 
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Comcast's NBCUniversal and some PE firms approached Disney earlier this year about acquiring Hulu or operating it as a partnership, but were rebuffed
Lauren Katzenberg / New York Times:
NYT Magazine is winding down its At War project, a forum for exploring the experiences and costs of war, including the weekly Afghan casualty report
 Earlier Picks: 
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Nexstar ABC affiliates dropped From Hulu + Live TV in 20+ markets due to a carriage dispute, though Hulu has replaced them with a national ABC feed
Discussion: The Desk
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Gannett CEO Mike Reed announced that the company will be offering another round of voluntary buyouts starting next week
Elizabeth Jensen / New York Times:
PBS' ability to meet the moment with free educational content and programming that contextualizes US history shows the need for its original, expansive mission