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9:40 AM ET, January 15, 2021

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 Top News: 
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Some Politico staffers raised concerns internally about the decision to allow Ben Shapiro to guest-write Playbook; editor Matt Kaminski defended the move  —  Several staffers expressed dismay over handing the keys to the outlet's influential newsletter product to a pundit with a “long history of bigoted and incendiary commentary.”
RELATED:
Leia Idliby / Mediaite:
Politico draws criticism for having Ben Shapiro serve as a guest writer of Playbook; he wrote about “the real reasons” most Republicans opposed impeachment  —  Politico has drawn heat for handing over the most recent edition of their Playbook newsletter to conservative radio host Ben Shapiro.
Laura Poitras / Praxis Films:
Laura Poitras says she was fired from First Look Media in November 2020 after speaking to the press about The Intercept's failure to protect Reality Winner  —  I was fired from First Look Media, an organization I co-founded.  My termination came two months after I spoke to the press …
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
VOA staffers circulate a petition seeking resignations of execs Robert Reilly and Elizabeth Robbins, saying they failed to be independent of political influence  —  Simmering tensions between journalists and managers at Voice of America grew into open rebellion Thursday …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Group Nine, owner of Thrillist, NowThis, the Dodo and more, goes public via a SPAC to raise $200M to fund acquisitions  —  The special purpose acquisition company set up by Group Nine Media announced that it priced its initial public offering of 20 million shares at $10 per unit, for total gross proceeds of $200 million.
Discussion: Adweek, Axios and @kerrymflynn
Alex Kantrowitz / OneZero:
Smaller services like Substack, Spotify, and Clubhouse are coming under scrutiny now that the big platforms have warmed to aggressive moderation  —  Smaller services are coming under scrutiny now that the big platforms have warmed to aggressive moderation  —  Glenn Greenwald was pissed.
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Paul Bennun / KCRW:
California public radio station KCRW drops The Daily, over concerns about NYT's handling of issues surrounding Caliphate  —  We have concerns about how the Times has handled the aftermath of the erroneous reporting in its audio series Caliphate, which was featured on The Daily …
Gerry Smith / Bloomberg:
A look at Judd Legum's Popular Information newsletter, which helped push companies to suspend donations to politicians who objected to election results  —  - Companies stop contributions after Popular Information article  — Judd Legum's newsletter has amassed 138,000 subscribers
Jessica Bursztynsky / CNBC:
NBCUniversal launches NBCU Academy, a journalism training program that's set to partner with 17 academic institutions across the US with $6.5M in funding  —  - Comcast's NBCUniversal News Group on Thursday announced NBCU Academy, a journalism training and development program that's set …
 
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Paul J. Boyle / News Media Alliance:
News Media Alliance and National Newspaper Association join a legal challenge to an order that would eliminate the cap on postal rate increases for periodicals
Ray Sanchez / CNN:
Bryan Monroe, a journalism professor, former president of NABJ, and a former editor at Knight Ridder and CNNPolitics.com, has died of a heart attack at 55
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Sources: NY Post editors tell staff not to use reporting from CNN, MSNBC, NYT, and WaPo as the sole basis for any Post article without independent confirmation