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5:15 PM ET, November 9, 2021

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Karissa Bell / Engadget:
Twitter Blue rolls out to the US for $2.99/month and NZ for $4.49/month with Scroll's ad-free articles across 300+ publishers and Nuzzel-like “top articles”  —  Twitter is expanding its premium subscription service to more users.  Twitter Blue, which unlocks additional features …
Greg Kumparak / TechCrunch:
Unity to acquire Peter Jackson's visual effects company Weta Digital, including 275+ engineers, for $1.625B; Weta Digital's FTX artists will form a new entity  —  Unity has just announced its intent to acquire Weta Digital, the legendary visual effects company co-founded by Peter Jackson, for a massive $1.625 billion.
Bloomberg:
Netflix for iOS is rolling out Kids Clips, a TikTok-like feature that shows new daily short videos from its children's library  —  - Company to test ‘Kids Clips’ on iOS in U.S., other countries  — Feature is similar to ‘Fast Laughs’ comedy offering for adults
Maria Verza / Associated Press:
Mexican prosecutors say they've arrested a businessman on charges of using Pegasus spyware to spy on a journalist  —  MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors said Monday they have arrested a businessman on charges he used the Pegasus spyware to spy on a journalist.
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Indictment of Steele dossier source doubles as a critique of Rachel Maddow and media outlets like WSJ, whose initial scoop cited a single anonymous source  —  MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in December 2017 aired a special report on the Trump-Russia dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
OpenWeb, formerly Spot.IM, used by 1,000+ publishers to manage comments and user interactions, raises a $150M Series E with NYT investing, valuing it at $1.1B  —  OpenWeb, a platform used by publishers to manage comments and user interactions, has raised $150 million in a series E financing round …
Hanaa' Tameez / Nieman Lab:
Interview with Vox's new EIC Swati Sharma about revamping its editorial strategy to redefine “Voxxy” as the publication eliminates its Identities section  —  Last month, Vox.com eliminated its Identities section, which covered a range of topics, including criminal justice, race, religion, gender, and drugs.
Jennifer Schuessler / New York Times:
PEN America: 11 proposed state bills this year restricting the teaching of critical race theory explicitly ban lessons based on The New York Times' 1619 Project  —  A report by PEN America, which surveys more than 50 bills proposed across the country, appeals to a principle that has lost its luster for many on the left and right.
Tom McGeveran / Ohio Local News Initiative:
Ohio Local News Initiative raises $5.8M and announces that its first local nonprofit newsroom will open in 2022 in Cleveland with an expected staff of 25  —  Independent newsroom in Cleveland to launch in 2022, producing daily, high-quality, community-oriented journalism as part of a new statewide network of newsrooms across Ohio
Andrew Fedorov / Off the Record:
Hearst adjusts its freelancer payment policy to net zero payouts, meaning it will now pay everyone immediately instead of waiting 30 days or more  —  After a Twitter kerfuffle sparked by author Roxane Gay, the magazine publisher will no longer ask writers to pay a fee for the privilege of prompt payments
Monica Eng / Axios:
Illinois educators start developing the first mandated high school media literacy class in the US, after the state passed a law requiring it  —  This summer Illinois became the first state to require one unit of media literacy for all high school students.
Discussion: The Rural Blog
Alexandra Bruell / Wall Street Journal:
DoubleVerify, which helps digital advertisers ensure brand safety and detect fraud, will buy OpenSlate for $150M to expand services on social video platforms  —  Deal expands DoubleVerify's brand-safety and ad-verification services on social-video platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, TikTok
Discussion: Business Wire
 
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Toolkits:
75% of large subscription publishers offer discounted trials  —  The majority of large publishers with digital subscription products are currently offering discounted trials to help drive new subscriber acquisition, according to Toolkits research.
 
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 More News: 
New York Times:
By January 19, Meta aims to remove ad targeting options based on user interactions with content about health, race, political affiliation, religion, and more
 Earlier Picks: 
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Wirecutter staff to strike around Black Friday, the site's busiest time of the year, to protest NYT's refusal to agree to significant guaranteed wage raises
Illia Ponomarenko / @iaponomarenko:
Kyiv Post, Ukraine's only major newspaper in English, closes; staff say they were all fired after resisting attempts to infringe on editorial independence