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8:15 AM ET, February 24, 2021

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 Top News: 
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
Facebook's Australia news ban shows tech giants don't mind giving up money to appease regulators and business, but will not give up control over platforms  —  [Warning: Violent and gruesome metaphor ahead.]  —  In The Usual Suspects (1995), there's a scene in which the true extent …
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Nick Clegg / About Facebook:
Facebook defends its stance in Australia, says it invested $600M since 2018 to support the news industry and plans at least $1B more over the next three years  —  Last week, in a move that will have felt abrupt and dramatic to many, Facebook announced it was stopping the sharing of news on its service in Australia.
ABC:
Australia says Facebook agreed to reinstate news content in Australia in the coming days after the government promised amendments to its proposed media bill  —  We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
Australian Financial Review:
Kerry Stokes' Seven West Media announces it has signed a letter of intent to provide news to Facebook; sources say Nine and News Corp deals are expected soon  —  Facebook has signed a deal with Seven West Media and agreements with Nine and News Corp are expected to follow …
Simon Wilkie / The Conversation:
Australia's news media code debate has mostly focused on large media players, but the attention should be on protecting the sustainability of small publishers
Theodore Schleifer / Vox:
Sources: the founder of Acronym, which backs Courier Newsroom, wants to raise $65M to push progressive local news and match the dominance of conservative media  —  It's called the Project for Good Information, and it raises big questions about the future of the information wars.  —  SHARE All sharing options
Hirsh Chitkara / Protocol:
Inside Chess.com's streaming success, with Twitch users watching 18.3M hours of chess content in January, nearly as much as they consumed throughout all of 2019  —  There's something inherently perverse in calling chess “open source.”  It's a bit like saying France “pivoted” …
Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian:
Al Jazeera is launching Rightly, a digital media channel led by Fox News Veteran Scott Norvell, for those who “feel left out of conservative media”  —  Rightly will be led by a former Fox News journalist and is aimed at Republicans who ‘feel left out of conservative media’
Lauren Harris / Columbia Journalism Review:
A look at the small-town Skagway News in Alaska, after its owner gifted it to two teachers in early 2020 and the pandemic slammed its tourist town  —  They won the Alaska newspaper giveaway.  Then the pandemic arrived.  —  In 2019, Larry Persily, owner of the Skagway News …
Discussion: @lharriswrites
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Star, a new section on Disney+ for international customers that offers content Disney places on Hulu in the US, launches today  —  Here's why US customers still have to pay for Hulu  —  Today marks the launch of Star.  It's a new section of Disney Plus for international audiences …
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The Information:
Source: ~40%, or 40M, of Disney+ subscribers are in the US, and Disney has said 30% are in India, so Europe and LatAm seem to make up less than a third of subs
 
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 More News: 
Lillian Rizzo / Wall Street Journal:
Black News Channel, largely backed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, has boosted its potential audience to 52M+ households from about 2.5M in July 2020
Deadline:
Movie theaters in New York City can reopen on March 5 at 25% capacity with health protocols including air filtration, mandatory masks, and social distancing
 Earlier Picks: 
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:
VidMob, which provides tools to create and improve digital ads, raises $50M Series C with Shutterstock, Adobe among investors; source: VidMob is valued at $290M
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Q&A with Spotify's Daniel Ek on growing the number of creators on the service and engaging with them, podcast success metrics, Clubhouse, and more
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Rob Barrett is named president of media at Maven, where he will run Sports Illustrated and The Street; Barrett was previously president of digital at Hearst
Kelsey McKinney / Defector:
Internal memo: Slate indefinitely suspended The Gist host Mike Pesca over a Slack discussion; sources: he argued for the use of the N-word in some cases