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1:50 AM ET, December 22, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Dominick Mastranglo / The Hill:
Newsmax claims it “has not reported as true certain claims” made by “various guests, attorneys and elected officials” on air about Smartmatic and Dominion  —  Conservative media outlet Newsmax issued a clarification on Monday about recent claims made by guests …
RELATED:
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Voting machine companies including Smartmatic have hired high-powered libel lawyers and, legal experts say, have strong cases if they sue Fox, Newsmax, and OAN
RELATED:
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
The omnibus funding bill Congress is set to vote on contains the controversial CASE Act, which may ratchet up copyright trolling, and the Felony Streaming Bill  —  from the but-why?  dept  —  As we warned about earlier this month, it appears that Congress has in fact put …
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Congress' COVID-19 relief deal includes the Save Our Stages Act to give ~$15B in relief to independent music venues and movie theaters shut due to the pandemic  —  “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell …
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
Group Nine Media has launched a SPAC and plans to go public, according to an SEC filing on Monday  —  Group Nine Media has formed a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to an SEC filing on Monday.  —  The company, called Group Nine Acquisition Corp., was formed …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: MGM Holdings has begun a formal sale process, looking for a price double its $5.5B valuation  —  Movie studio has tapped bankers to find a buyer, as media companies look to stock up on content  —  MGM Holdings Inc., the movie studio behind the “James Bond” franchise, is exploring a sale …
Cecilia D'Anastasio / Wired:
Cyberpunk 2077's developer hamstrung reviewers by forcing NDAs and sending copies just days before launch to prevent players from seeing the buggy mess  —  Video game companies are increasingly putting restrictions on what reviewers can show, widening the gap between expectations and reality.
Mike Fannin / The Kansas City Star:
Kansas City Star publishes a review of its 140-year history, finding coverage “disenfranchised, ignored, and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians”  —  Today we are telling the story of a powerful local business that has done wrong.  For 140 years, it has been one of the …
Vikas SN / The Economic Times:
India-based VerSe Innovation, the company behind news app Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, raises $100M+ at $1B+ valuation from Google, Microsoft, and others  —  Dailyhunt parent VerSe Innovation has raised more than $100 million funding from tech giants Google and Microsoft …
Sarah Whitten / CNBC:
Alan Horn to step down as co-chairman of Walt Disney Studios, leaving Alan Bergman as the sole chairman; Horn will continue as chief creative officer  —  - Alan Horn is stepping down as co-chairman of Walt Disney Studios, but will remain with the company as chief creative officer.
 
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 More News: 
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
TikTok launches its first personalized annual recap feature, “Year on TikTok”, which highlights what sort of videos were watched the most, favorite tracks, more
Washington Post:
The Washington Post announces expansion plans for 2021: new foreign bureaus in Sydney and Bogotá, breaking news hubs in London and Seoul, and more
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix and Legendary Pictures settle Enola Holmes lawsuit with Conan Doyle Estate, which alleged that the movie infringed upon Sherlock Holmes
Discussion: The Verge
Kristen Chick / Columbia Journalism Review:
Eleven women describe inappropriate behavior from photographer David Alan Harvey over 13 years and say Magnum Photos knew as early as 2009
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Sources: NYT reporters criticized editors over handling of Callimachi's “Caliphate” in a meeting, arguing warning signs had been clear for years with no action
 Earlier Picks: 
Pranshu Verma / New York Times:
Documents: Michael Pack, CEO of USAGM, is seeking to cut funding for its nonprofit Open Technology Fund, limiting internet access in tightly controlled places
Linda Solomon Wood / Nieman Lab:
National Observer EIC predicts Canada's philanthropic sector will lean in further to fund journalism in 2021, and new companies will continue to launch and grow
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Despite a few bright spots in local journalism like Charlotte Agenda, bought by Axios, and Daily Memphian, 55 news outlets have closed amid the pandemic
Stephanie Clifford / Elle:
Profile of ex-Bloomberg reporter Christie Smythe, who quit her job and divorced her husband after she fell in love with the man she was covering, Martin Shkreli
Discussion: New York Magazine, @ellemagazine, CNBC, @nytimes, Elle, VICE, @manymanywords, @megancgraham, The Cut, New York Times, @katie_robertson, New York Post, @stephcliff, The US Sun, Jezebel, @skenigsberg, @mattzeitlin, @thedailybeast, Los Angeles Times, @liamstack, @katierosman, @penenberg, Left Tab, @ohheyjenna, @benyt, @katie_robertson, @migold, @penenberg, Law & Crime, Rolling Stone, @jillfilipovic, @shwinyo, @kira_lerner, @alexrkonrad, @mathewi, The Wrap, @rmac18, The Daily Dot, The A.V. Club, @tomgara, @beijingpalmer, @asteadwesley, @hummusandpizza, Where's Your Ed At, Fox News, UPROXX, @hels, Business Insider, The Guardian, Talking Biz News, @alexheard, @carigervin, @carigervin, @zeitchikwapo, @maxwelltani, @jordanuhl, @socialistdogmom, @elaheizadi, @maxwelltani, @elaheizadi, @ashleyfeinberg, @drea_carmen, @oneunderscore__, @taylorlorenz, @angryblacklady, @annamerlan, @galaxiecarol, @nolamama69, @ec_schneider, @ashleyrparker, @bgrueskin, @bgrueskin, @christiesmythe, @soledadobrien, @christiesmythe, @alishagrauso, @jenashleywright, @notcapnamerica, @roywoodjr, @offbeatorbit, @christiesmythe, Mediaite, @moorehn, @moorehn, @jillfilipovic, @meandmydogtoo, @otraletra, @robbiese7en, @taylorlorenz, @christiesmythe, @kellykeegs, @zeddary, @karnythia, @phil_lewis_, @mrsfridaynext, @jerrydunleavy, @jourdynberry, @sawyerhackett, @amber_athey, @majorphilebrity, @dierobinsondie, @austen, @arreglalo, @ftrain, @felixsalmon, @mattikovler, @rebeccadobrien, @christiesmythe, @kaylawebley, @christiesmythe, @modernistwitch, @theferocity, @jillfilipovic, @jessicakroy, @fuggirls, @zunguzungu, @annamerlan, @eekshecried, @dansolomon, @harrysiegel, @bendreyfuss, @bendreyfuss, @bendreyfuss, @tylerdinucci, @jbillinson, @dlippman, @dave_schilling, @caseyjohnston, @jasonpinter and @bykatesmith
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