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11:25 AM ET, February 19, 2021


 Top News: 
Jason Scott / Bloomberg:
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he will hold talks with Zuckerberg to “see if there's a pathway forward”, but says news legislation will go ahead  —  - ‘The world is watching us very closely,’ says Treasurer  — News content law expected to pass through parliament next week
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Facebook's refusal to pay a misguided media tax, pushed by Rupert Murdoch, is a defense of the open web and criticizing it for rejecting a link tax is bizarre  —  None of this should have been a surprise.  Back in September we wrote about Facebook publicly saying that if Australia went forward …
Daniel Hurst / The Guardian:
In a media diversity hearing, ex-PM Kevin Rudd said that Australian politicians are afraid of Murdoch media; a News Corp exec dismissed Rudd's claims  —  Former PM says his fear of the Murdoch empire persisted during his time in office and only subsided after he left
Alex Mahadevan / Poynter:
An early analysis of Birdwatch, Twitter's crowdsourced fact-checking pilot with about 1,000 users, shows partisan rhetoric and a lack of source citations
William Easton / About Facebook:
Ahead of proposed media law, Facebook says it's banning Australians from sharing/viewing news and all users from sharing from and viewing Australian news Pages
Casey Newton / Platformer:
Banning Australian news makes sense for Facebook and may prompt people to visit news sites directly; Google's payoffs, though, will invite global shakedowns
Benedict Evans:
Australia's proposal for media compensation, which covers raw link sharing, is presented as a competition case when it's actually a tech tax and media subsidy
Nicholas McElroy / ABC:
Australian authorities in public health, weather, and other areas say Facebook has removed posts from their feeds following Facebook's news ban
David Folkenflik / @davidfolkenflik:
[Thread] In audio obtained by NPR, Chicago Tribune EIC Colin McMahon told staffers that Trib papers make 10-13% profit now and new owner Alden will seek 20%+  —  NEWS: Chicago Tribune editor Colin McMahon told staffers - audio obtained by NPR > praises staffers' journalism > calls fears of Alden “valid” > says “space” for mission will be “smaller than it is today” > says Trib papers make 10-13% profits - says Alden will seek 20%+
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Sweden-based podcast host and ad network Acast says it is acquiring RadioPublic; RadioPublic's podcast app will remain live and its team will stay in the US  —  It already claims to be the biggest everywhere else  —  Acast, a podcast host and ad network, is looking to improve its tech and broaden its reach.
Wall Street Journal:
In a court brief, Quibi attorneys say Elliott Management founder Paul Singer appears to have personal ties that prompted it to finance a patent suit by Eko  —  Hedge fund says defunct streaming service is focusing on ‘personal matters in order to put forward a false narrative’
Discussion: Variety and @wsj
Denise Petski / Deadline:
Insider, formerly BI, Mark Wahlberg's Unrealistic Ideas, and Assemble Media are producing a docuseries about the rise and fall of MoviePass  —  EXCLUSIVE: Mark Wahlberg's Unrealistic Ideas, the company behind HBO's Emmy-nominated McMillions, is taking another deep dive into the absurdities …
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 More News: 
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
YouTube removed a PewDiePie video critical of Cocomelon, its most-watched children's channel; PewDiePie has aimed at channels that threatened his high rank
PEN America:
PEN America has settled its 2018 lawsuit, PEN America v. Trump, leaving intact an earlier ruling that it can challenge a president's retaliation against media
Lili Bayer / Politico:
Journalists in Slovenia accuse the prime minister of whipping up hatred against public media reporters and editors, which has led to threats and self-censorship
Michael Karam / Report for the World:
The GroundTruth Project, which created Report for America, launches Report for the World, seeking six reporters to work in two newsrooms in India and Nigeria
 Earlier Picks: 
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
BBC Studios' streaming channel BBC Select launches today in the US on Amazon Prime and Apple TV for $4.99/month, with non-fiction culture and politics shows
Discussion: The Streamable and MacRumors
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Google adds the Apple TV app to its newest Chromecast device with Google TV and has made it available on Sony and TCL smart TVs that Google TV
Hannah Murphy / Financial Times:
Court filing says a Facebook manager warned that the company reported revenues it “should have never made” by overstating how many users advertisers could reach
Nicholas Quah / Vulture:
Reply All's P.J. Vogt is leaving the show and Sruthi Pinnamaneni is stepping back from its series on Bon Appétit after staffer said they created a toxic dynamic