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1:40 PM ET, October 19, 2020

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 Top News: 
New York Times:
A look at a pay-for-play network of ~1,300 sites and some papers that fills a local news void in the US with propaganda ordered by GOP and corporate PR groups  —  A nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites publishes coverage that is ordered up by Republican groups and corporate P.R. firms.
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Sources: NY Post's article about Hunter Biden was written mostly by Bruce Golding, who did not allow his byline to be used amid doubts in the tabloid's newsroom  —  Some reporters withheld their bylines and questioned the credibility of an article that made the tabloid's front page on Wednesday.
RELATED:
Colby Hall / Mediaite:
Sources: Fox News was first approached by Rudy Giuliani about the Hunter Biden story but passed on it over credibility concerns  —  Mediaite has learned that Fox News was first approached by Rudy Giuliani to report on a tranche of files alleged to have come from Hunter Biden's unclaimed laptop left …
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
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Apple launches Apple Music TV, a free 24-hour curated livestream of popular music videos, available in the US on Apple's Music and TV apps  —  Apple has launched Apple Music TV, a free 24-hour curated livestream of popular music videos that will also include “exclusive new music videos and premiers …
The Markup:
The Markup announces The Citizen Browser Project, an initiative with The NYT to analyze how the algorithms of Facebook and YouTube serve content to users  —  The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates how the world's most powerful institutions use technology to reshape society …
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Mark Burnett, the TV producer behind Survivor, Trump's The Apprentice, and The Voice, is facing his own string of flops and a cultural disconnect, for now  —  Mark Burnett helped turn Donald Trump into a national figure with “The Apprentice.”  But since 2016, his impact “has kind of gone bust.”
Online Journalism Awards:
2020 Online Journalism Awards announced: winners include South China Morning Post, The 1619 Project, Reuters, Star Tribune for coverage of George Floyd's death  —  Finalists for the 2020 OJAs have been announced and are listed below!  Winners will be announced at virtual awards events throughout ONA20 Everywhere, Oct. 1-16.
Matthew Ball / MatthewBall.vc:
Audio, which struggled for decades as a media category, is breaking out now, as tech enables new content formats as well as new monetization and delivery models  —  As most of the major media categories — music, video and video games — have existed for decades, we tend to forget that media is technology.
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Warner Music raises $250M through a private offering, source says for catalog acquisitions  —  As the music-rights acquisition spree led by Hipgnosis, Primary Wave, Round Hill and others continues to heat up, Warner Music has thrown its hat into the ring, notifying Wall Street Monday …
Dave McNary / Variety:
Study: women made up 38% of directors and 35% of writers of indie narrative features and docs from 2019-2020, with female directors doubling in the last decade  —  The percentages of women working as directors and writers on independent films reached recent highs in 2019-2020, according to a report released Thursday.
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
RELATED:
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
 
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 More News: 
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
UK-based ITV says it will restructure, creating a new media and entertainment division with broadcast and on-demand business units, amid the rise of streaming
Discussion: The Guardian
Daniel Cooper / Engadget:
Virtual studios, where the filmmaking takes place in front of a halo of flat screen displays connected to PCs, are offering a real alternative to green screens
Reese Oxner / NPR:
Disney+ has updated the disclaimer appearing before some of its classic films with stronger language acknowledging the “harmful impact” of racist stereotypes
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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
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