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6:35 PM ET, August 20, 2013


 Top News: 
Michael Kinsley / The New Republic:
A Q&A With Jill Abramson The Times' top editor on mean bosses, liberal biases, and the demise of the Washington Post  —  For generations, the publishers of the great American newspapers were accidents of birth—sons and daughters (and assorted other relatives) who inherited their positions atop the masthead.
Marc Tracy / The New Republic:
How to Build a Smarter Times, According to the Times' Own Journalists  —  In 1976, legendary Timesman A.M. Rosenthal, faced with the rising cost of newsprint, tasked his equally legendary deputy, Arthur Gelb, with formulating new sections to attract extra ads and readers to the newspaper and …
Julian Borger / Guardian:
NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files  —  A threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the files leaked by Edward Snowden led to a symbolic act at the Guardian's offices in London  —  Guardian editors on Tuesday revealed …
Sarah Young / Reuters:   British authorities say detention of reporter's partner ‘legally sound’
Jonathan Watts / Guardian:
David Miranda: 'They said I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate'
Milo Yiannopoulos / The Kernel:
David Miranda's detention was entirely legitimate
Andrew Beaujon / Poynter:
Al Jazeera America launches: What you need to know  —  The network plans to launch at 3 p.m. ET today.  Here's a quick primer:  —  • It may be a unicorn: “[T]here's an undeniable fascination in watching a giant news outlet come together in a matter of months,” Joe Pompeo wrote in July about Al Jazeera America's planned launch.
Alex / digiphile:
Al Jazeera America bets on an American audience for serious journalism
Discussion: Quartz and @digiphile, Thanks:@digiphile
Jennifer Saba / Reuters:
Exclusive : Conde Nast launches new subscriber service with Amazon  —  (Reuters) - Magazine publisher Conde Nast announced a major partnership with Amazon on Tuesday in which the Internet retailer will handle print and digital subscriptions for its stable of glossy publications like Vogue, Wired and Vanity Fair.
Paul Bond / Hollywood Reporter:
Top Roger Ailes Adviser Fired and Escorted From Fox News Building (Exclusive)  —  Brian Lewis, executive vp corporate communications, is said to have raised concern over unspecified financial issues.  —  Brian Lewis, a Fox News Channel veteran executive who had been considered the right-hand man …
Forced Exposure  —  The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.  —  There is no way to do Groklaw without email.  Therein lies the conundrum.  —  What to do?  —  What to do?  I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure it out.
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
More NSA Spying Fallout: Groklaw Shutting Down
Discussion: TechCrunch, Engadget, @josemurilo and ZDNet
Kevin Roderick / LA Observed:
LA Times to hire bloggers, names Seattle bureau chief  —  The Los Angeles Times has zigged and zagged with blogs in the past — at one time I think there were more than 40, then most were killed or consolidated.  Now it sounds like the plan is to go big into staffing up “exciting new blogs” …
Laura Hazard Owen / GigaOM:
Bad earnings for Barnes & Noble: Nook revenues plunge 20%; Riggio won't take stores private  —  In the past quarter, Barnes & Noble's CEO resigned, and the company announced it would stop manufacturing tablets in-house as a way to cut heavy losses in the Nook division.
John McDermott / AdAge:
iTunes Radio to Debut in September With McDonald's, Nissan, P&G, Pepsi  —  Launch Partners Sign 12-Month Deals Worth Tens of Millions of Dollars  —  iTunes Radio, Apple's answer to Pandora, is set to debut next month with a handful of high-profile brand partners including McDonald's, Nissan …
Andrew Beaujon / Poynter:
Washington Post considered using robot sportswriters  —  Last year, The Washington Post considered using automated writing to cover the region's many high-school sports, Brook Silva-Braga reports.  Currently, the paper has four reporters on that beat, and deputy high school sports editor …
Discussion: @niemanlab
Andrew Blankstein / Los Angeles Times:
Coroner, family link Michael Hastings to drug use at time of death  —  An LAPD officer investigates the scene of a firey crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings.  Hastings died when his vehicle crashed into a tree and caught fire in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles in June.
Brian Morrissey / Digiday:
The Newest in Native: Editorial Reviews Reborn as Ads  —  This past April, CNET senior editor Jessica Dolcourt reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.  Under the headline “The everything phone for (almost) everyone,” the CNET veteran journalist gave the device 4.5/5 stars in a detailed, mostly positive review.
Brian Morrissey / Digiday:
Justin Smith's Blueprint for Modern Media  —  The path of modern media is anything but direct.  —  Justin Smith, the new CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, is emerging as one of the trailblazers.  His track record at The Economist, The Week and, most recently, The Atlantic suggests a willingness …
Discussion: ZDNet, @gregory and @pkedrosky, Thanks:@digiday
Ken Auletta / Currency:
CBS, Time Warner Cable, and the Disruption of TV  —  Until the nineteen-eighties, American television was dominated by CBS, NBC, and ABC, broadcast networks so powerful that they were known simply as the Big Three.  Then a new technology came along, one that gave viewers many more options to choose from …
Discussion: @ceciliakang and Los Angeles Times
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 More News: 
Mike Fleming Jr /
Fox Makes Epic First-Look Deal With Online Venture For Film-Centric Journalism
Discussion: The Verge and PandoDaily
Associated Press:
Ecuador Leader May Insist On Digital-Only Dailies
Discussion: The Verge
 Earlier Picks: 
Mark Sweney / Guardian:
Dawn Airey to run Yahoo operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa
Discussion:, Variety and Media Week
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Penguin Random House Makes TV Play