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6:55 AM 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.
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 …
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 …
RELATED:
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”  —  The need for IP pushes facts aside  —  The New York Times' Caliphate podcast was a hit — until it wasn't.
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 …
Discussion: Formerly Dangerous
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.
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 …
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 …
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  —  Big players explore acquiring rivals and going public through blank-check companies  —  Momentum is building toward consolidation …
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  —  The Washington Post plans to add more than 150 jobs to its newsroom next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000, the newspaper confirmed to The Hill Thursday.
 
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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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Hulu reaches agreement with Nexstar to bring back 20 ABC affiliates to Hulu + Live TV and launch WGN America on the service in January