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4:35 PM ET, August 1, 2019

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 Top News: 
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
Pew: 27% of papers with Sunday circulations of ~50K+ faced layoffs in 2018 vs. 32% in 2017; 14% of digital media sites laid off staff in 2018 vs. 20% in 2017  —  If you work at a U.S. newspaper and didn't have layoffs in the last two years, consider yourself lucky.
Discussion: Pew Research Center
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
The LAT's disappointing digital subscriber numbers attest to the importance of subscriber retention, which the paper should invest in like the NYT has  —  When Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the Los Angeles Times out of its tronckian purgatory last year, it was an occasion to consider where it sat …
Hank Stuever / Washington Post:
CNN's overproduced, conflict-obsessed debates were full of cable-news alarmism and resembled prime-time game shows and reality TV, rather than democratic debate  —  Lately there's a strange caution in the air about the intellectual pitfalls of comparing American politics to the performing arts — or worse, to showbiz.
RELATED:
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
CNN's first debate, featuring divisive questions, frustratingly short response times, and outsize attention to fringe candidates, was a lost opportunity
Javier C. Hernández / New York Times:
Profile of Hu Xijin, the influential and hawkish EIC of China's Global Times, a Fox News-like tabloid, with 2M print readers and 30M monthly online visitors  —  BEIJING — Inside a bustling, 700-person newsroom in downtown Beijing, Hu Xijin leads a 24-hour propaganda machine that some media scholars call China's Fox News.
Patricia Nilsson / Financial Times:
Ofcom gives BBC approval to make its content available on iPlayer for a year or more, scrapping the previous 30-day limit, to help compete against Netflix  —  The UK media regulator has given permission for the BBC to transform its iPlayer from a catch-up service into a Netflix-style streaming platform …
Matthew Kassel / Columbia Journalism Review:
Seventeen journalists discuss “aha” moments that changed the way they thought about their work  —  Between 2013 and 2016, I worked as a reporter for The New York Observer.  It was my first full-time job in journalism, there was little oversight, and I had no assigned beat.
Discussion: @yaffaesque and @xpatriciah
Andrew Webster / The Verge:
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the biggest name in Fortnite and one of Twitch's most popular stars, says he will move to Microsoft's Mixer full-time  —  Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the biggest name in Fortnite and one of Twitch's most popular stars, is leaving the platform to stream exclusively on Mixer.
 
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 More News: 
Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
Nylon EIC Gabrielle Korn is stepping down following the title's acquisition by Bustle; Bustle Digital EIC Emma Rosenblum will be interim editor
Reuters:
Thomson Reuters Q2: $1.42B in revenue, up 9% YoY; it and Blackstone-affiliated funds have sold Bloomberg rival Refinitiv to the London Stock Exchange for ~$27B
Discussion: The Guardian and CNN
University of Birmingham:
Researchers find WhatsApp was used both to spread fake news and to strengthen accountability and promote inclusion around Nigeria's 2019 elections
Discussion: CDD
 Earlier Picks: 
Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab:
After six months fact-checking for Facebook, Full Fact makes 10 recommendations, including expanding the program to Instagram, enlisting help on public health
Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide:
Spotify reports 108M paying subscribers in Q2, up 31% YoY, and an operating loss of €3M on revenue of €1.67B, up 31% YoY; stock drops 5%+
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Deadspin, owned by G/O Media, is planning a story on company CEO Jim Spanfeller; Spanfeller reacts publicly with plans for an outside editor to review the story