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12:50 PM ET, October 26, 2020

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 Top News: 
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Sources: Trump allies including a White House lawyer first approached WSJ with their Hunter Biden story, but WSJ couldn't corroborate claims about Joe Biden  —  Inside the White House's secret, last-ditch effort to change the narrative, and the election — and the return of the media gatekeepers.
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
How the Falun Gong-backed Epoch Times used aggressive Facebook tactics and right-wing misinformation since 2016 to create an anti-China, pro-Trump media empire  —  Since 2016, the Falun Gong-backed newspaper has used aggressive Facebook tactics and right-wing misinformation to create an anti-China, pro-Trump media empire.
RELATED:
Oscar Schwartz / The Atavist Magazine:
An ex-Epoch Times content writer on how he became a cog in the burgeoning propaganda machine and why he stayed on even as the publication's biases became clear  —  I.  —  among other publications.  Originally from Australia, he is now based in Brooklyn.  Follow him on Twitter: @scarschwartz.
Doug Mack / The Counter:
How the “Rust Belt Diner” genre of journalism became the “Trump Country Diner” in 2016, driven by a sense that media failed to understand the mood of rural US  —  Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP  —  The “Rust Belt Diner” genre of journalism isn't new.
Columbia Journalism Review:
A look back at the media's coverage of the Trump presidency, what has changed in the press, its failings, and how the press has simply not learned its lesson  —  In November 2017, the International Center for Journalists gave Fox News's Chris Wallace an award for excellence in journalism.
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
The Atlantic published a lengthy magazine story by disgraced New Republic editor Ruth Shalit as Ruth S. Barrett with no disclosure about her checkered past  —  A new story from the Atlantic explores the culture of niche sports in Fairfield County, Conn. — parents trying to turn their offspring …
Discussion: @mathewi
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: at least three large US media companies expect the number of US households with pay-TV to fall to ~50M by 2025, a drop of $25B in cable revenue  —  - At least three large U.S. media companies expect the number of U.S. households that subscribe to a traditional pay-TV bundle to fall to about 50 million in the next five years.
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
China-based esports platform Versus Programming Network (VSPN) raises $100M Series B led by Tencent  —  Further confirmation that the esports market is booming amid the pandemic comes today with the news that esports ‘total solutions provider’ VSPN (Versus Programming Network) …
Kate Knibbs / Wired:
ClickHole, whose staff became worker-owners in May, struggles to stay relevant in 2020 while reckoning with a lack of diversity and facing a financial crunch  —  The humor site has survived it all: new owners, layoffs, a culture war.  Now a worker-owned cooperative, it needs to update its voice—and bring home the bacon.
 
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 More News: 
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
BuzzFeed UK Group, which includes Germany, Japan, Mexico, and India, had £4.6M in 2019 revenue, down 31% YoY, and losses of £7.4M, down 17%, before its closure
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
ViacomCBS International Studios launches VIS Kids to expand its offerings to kid-focused short and longform content that will be sold to third parties
Cahal Milmo / inews.co.uk:
A look back at 10 years of The Independent's spinoff i newspaper, initially a flop before a £3M TV ad campaign, which is now owned by DMGT
 Earlier Picks: 
Variety:
Sources: Apple, Netflix, and other streamers explored acquiring the delayed Bond movie No Time to Die, but MGM's $600M price tag for it was deemed too much
Edmund Lee / New York Times:
Some Vogue staffers say Anna Wintour fostered a workplace that sidelined women of color and her apology was hypocritical; others say her apology was heartfelt
Wall Street Journal:
A look at Jeff Zucker's leadership at CNN, as sources say he felt blindsided by parent WarnerMedia's restructuring and has had friction with CEO Jason Kilar
Jeff Horwitz / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook asks NYU Ad Observatory, which analyzes political ad targeting using data collected from a browser extension, to cease the practice for violating TOS
 

 
From Techmeme:

TechCrunch:
Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
Sources detail how Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, who recently proposed a privacy bill, has undermined privacy negotiations for years

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

 
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