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6:55 AM ET, August 24, 2021


 Top News: 
Jim Friedlich / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
How the bipartisan Local Journalism Sustainability Act in US Congress would publicly fund local media orgs while letting them keep their editorial independence  —  The Philadelphia Inquirer is unique.  The newspaper you are reading is the largest American news publication under nonprofit ownership …
Katherine Huggins / Mediaite:
CNN, Fox News, WSJ, NYT, WaPo, and others have successfully evacuated journalists from Afghanistan, including freelancers and interpreters  —  Multiple media companies have successfully evacuated journalists from Afghanistan, including Afghan freelancers and interpreters.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Anguished reactions by some in elite US media about Afghanistan come from people who deeply bought into the war and are suddenly forced to confront its reality
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Vox Media is weighing several options to finance its expansion, including a SPAC merger or an IPO; Vox says it is buying drinks website Punch  —  Digital media company is buying a cocktail website founded by Bertelsmann SE's Penguin Random House  —  Vox Media LLC said Monday …
Zeynep Tufekci / @zeynep:
[Thread] Zeynep Tufekci says her substack will soon turn into a free newsletter for a future book as she joins NYT as an opinion columnist  —  So the news is out. I'm going to be a regular columnist with the New York Times. I started blogging about a decade ago simply because I had things to say, and thought it would be good to have more academic voices in the public sphere. It's been a journey, for sure.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
NBCUniversal says it is “assembling a full suite of interoperable measurement solutions”, as Nielsen's national TV ratings come under intense scrutiny  —  The TV industry has for decades relied on a single yardstick: Nielsen ratings.  Now NBCUniversal has suggested it may have to accept multiple measurement benchmarks.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Sources: Rachel Maddow has agreed to a new multi-year deal with MSNBC, which will include developing new projects with the network and NBCUniversal  —  Rachel Maddow will stay at MSNBC, according to two people familiar with the matter, after negotiating a new pact that will keep her at the cable-news outlet beyond 2022.
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
NY Post is requiring all employees to wear masks while away from their desks, after peddling anti-mask rhetoric and questioning mask mandates in editorials  —  New York (CNN Business)The New York Post, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid that has peddled a high volume of anti-mask rhetoric during the pandemic …
Ben Smith / New York Times:
How Russia's crackdown has changed outlets like Meduza, which has an audience of 10M+/month and lost 95% of advertisers after being marked a “foreign agent”  —  Meduza, a leading independent news site, fights back with jokes and a stunning donation campaign.  But can it stand up to the Russian state?
Elizabeth Dwoskin / Washington Post:
Facebook releases a previously shelved Q1 content transparency report, acknowledging the widespread reach of content casting doubt on COVID vaccines  —  The social-media platform's Saturday evening acknowledgment comes after a lengthy internal debate over whether to share data.
Kim Lyons / The Verge:
YouTube says its Partner Program has 2M creators and the number of new channels joining the program in 2020 doubled YoY as channels making $100K+ grew 35% YoY  —  The program to pay its creators launched 14 years ago  —  YouTube's Partner Program, which allows users to make money off their videos …
Amaris Castillo / Poynter:
Interview with former AP reporter Tamara Lush on her decision to leave journalism and focus on writing fiction, which allowed her “to be a fuller human being”  —  As a journalist, Tamara Lush spent her career working with words.  The above excerpt is, obviously, not one of her news stories.
Nicole LaPorte / Fast Company:
Profile of Invisible Universe, which is developing animated franchises using characters born on social media with the help of influencers like Serena Williams  —  Last week, Realqaiqai, the Instagram handle for Qai Qai (pronounced “kway kway"), the doll turned social media star belonging to Olympia Ohanian …
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 More News: 
Freddy Mayhew / Press Gazette:
Interview with Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of UK publisher Future, on acquiring The Week publisher Dennis for £300M, plans for an expansion in the US, and more
Laura Hayes / Washington City Paper:
A look at DC's spot news reporters who chronicle crime via their social media feeds, including DC REALTIME NEWS and Killmoenews, and compete with local TV news
Gene Maddaus / Variety:
California Film Commission awards a record $138.8M in film tax credits, up from $109M awarded in 2016, with Netflix alone getting $43.3M
Discussion: The Wrap
 Earlier Picks: 
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
Chinese e-comics app Kuaikan, which has 50M MAUs, raises $240M Series F from CCB International, Tencent, and others, source says at a $1.25B valuation
Kayla Benjamin / Current:
Public radio reporters and editors discuss climate change coverage takeaways: listeners want more stories, newsroom collaboration is key, and more
Mark Stenberg / Medialyte:
This year's media startups are better funded than last year's, yet are similar in their emphasis on subscriptions, newsletters, and relatively small staff
Kate Storey / Esquire:
Interview with CNN's Clarissa Ward on reporting from Kabul as the chaos unfolded: “I appear calm, but that doesn't mean I am calm”