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7:10 PM ET, December 20, 2020

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 Top News: 
ProPublica:
Leaked docs show how China stage-managed what appeared on its domestic internet to make coronavirus look less severe in the early days of the outbreak  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.
Charles Kaiser / The Guardian:
Interview with Arthur Sulzberger Jr, who retires as NYT chairman this month, and AG Sulzberger about turning around the paper, keeping it in the family, more  —  Against the odds, a unique American institution has thrived.  Its chairman is retiring but the paper will stay in the family
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Lou Dobbs aired a fact-check of his own election conspiracies, after Smartmatic threatened legal action; sources: Pirro, Bartiromo will air the same fact check  —  Fox Business host Lou Dobbs has recently taken to raising questions about voting machine companies, which have been cast …
The Guardian:
Citizen Lab: iPhones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists were hacked using software from NSO Group in an attack likely ordered by Saudi Arabia and UAE  —  Citizen Lab researchers say cyber-attack using NSO Group software likely ordered by Saudia Arabia and UAE
David Folkenflik / NPR:
NYT retracts the core of Caliphate after a review finds that the podcast gave too much credence to its central character and reassigns Rukmini Callimachi  —  Toggle more options  —  The New York Times has retracted the core of its hit 2018 podcast series Caliphate after an internal review found …
Discussion: @rcallimachi, Washington Post, @opcofamerica, New York Times, @marksimoneny, @chitrasd, @opindia_com, @louisemensch, @omar_quraishi, @patrickosgood, @leah_sottile, @lizsly, @asadabukhalil, New York Times, @darksecretplace, @hshaban, @natashafatah, New York Post, @mitrakalita, New York Times, @madhulikasikka, @johnjcook, CNN, New York Times, @nycjim, @perlberg, Washington Post, @samsanders, @elaheizadi, @brianstelter, @cd_hooks, @cd_hooks, @peterbale, @sultanreina, @katie_robertson, @erikwemple, @nprinskeep, @amalahmed214, @lailaalarian, @lailaalarian, @lailaalarian, @lailaalarian, @doranimated, @madhulikasikka, @madhulikasikka, @radiokitty, @madhulikasikka, @chuckatwbhm, @erikwemple, @erikwemple, @erikwemple, @erikwemple, @erikwemple, @absurdistwords, @absurdistwords, @joshokane, @davidfolkenflik, @jbflint, @glcarlstrom, @davidfolkenflik, @steveguest, @janelytv, @lourdesgnavarro, @qjurecic, @bgrueskin, @miriamelder, @miriamelder, @mitrakalita, @mitrakalita, @sairakh, @erikwemple, @laurawags, @lailaalarian, Axios, @lailaalarian, @titonka, @neilphauer, @sulliview, @mattgallowaycbc, @dparvaz, @supriyan, @hannahallam, @johnmoe, @lourdesgnavarro, @jonahdispatch, @brianstelter, @marcatracy, @katie_robertson, @salmanmasood, @marcatracy, @brianstelter, @katie_robertson, The Line, The Independent, The Daily Beast, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Media Nut, Forbes, Business Insider, The Hill, Newser, Mediaite, allsides.com, The Guardian, The Wrap, kottke.org and Reason
RELATED:
Michael Schneider / Variety:
The New York Times has agreed to return the Peabody Award it won for Caliphate, following its retraction of core elements of the podcast series
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
The rush for podcast-generated IP that can be sold to Hollywood is driving demand for podcasts like Caliphate, which may ignore facts for “cinematic experience”
Ben Taub / New Yorker:
A look back at Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder in Malta, and how her sons used her unfinished work to crack the murder case, bringing down Malta's government  —  After a journalist was assassinated, her sons found clues in her unfinished work that cracked the case and brought down the government.
Gabby Deutch / NewsGuard:
NewsGuard names news sites with most online engagement in 2020: NBCNews, NYT top among trustworthy sites; Breitbart, TheBlaze for COVID-19 and election misinfo  —  NewsGuard's Top Ten Disinformers - and Top Ten Straight Shooters With The Most Online Engagement  —  Facts did not always flourish in 2020.
Will Page / Billboard:
Music streaming may have plateaued with an average of 17.5B streams a week for the past four months, while consumption of games, TikTok, and podcasts increase  —  Has streaming volume really peaked in the U.S., or is the current stalled growth a blip?  —  Music streaming services have continued …
Andrew Liptak / Polygon:
Several writers of movie tie-in novels say they haven't been paid royalties for their work since Disney acquired Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox  —  This November, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a professional organization for genre authors …
Alexandra Alter / New York Times:
Spiegel & Grau, the literary imprint shut down by Penguin Random House last year, returns as an indie publishing house with plans for podcasts, audiobooks, more  —  In a literary landscape dominated by the biggest players, Cindy Spiegel and Julie Grau are among the executives rejecting …
 
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 More News: 
USAGM:
Michael Pack, CEO of USAGM, has announced that Ted Lipien will be CEO and president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Karlene Lukovitz / MediaPost:
Survey: US consumers used seven SVOD and free streaming services in October, up from five in April; 47% used free services in October, up from 39% in April
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: digital publishers including BuzzFeed, Group Nine, and Axios are prepping for a wave of consolidation, via acquisitions or going public through SPACs
 Earlier Picks: 
Brandy Zadrozny / NBC News:
Some local news stations are credulously covering anti-vaxxers' response to the COVID-19 vaccine and failing to feature doctors or public health advocates
Elaine Low / Variety:
Charli D'Amelio and her family will star in The D'Amelio Show, an eight-episode docuseries on Hulu that will follow “the first family of TikTok”
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
In a memo, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell says that Premier League soccer coverage is Peacock's number one driver of premium subscriptions and engagement
Discussion: The Streamable
Celine Castronuovo / The Hill:
The Washington Post plans to add 150 jobs next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000