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Media Bits and Bytes - December 15, 2020

Trustbusting Facebook, Newspaper dying of Covid-19, and more news and reports from media biz and culture


Facebook Under Fire

Break It Up, Says FTC  By Fey Aniston, Brumpost

$5B Fine: Chicken Feed  By Paul Constant, Business Insider

The Smoking Gun  By Gilad Edelman, Wired

Network Analysis and Journalism

By Ståle Grut
Nieman Lab

Journalists able to do network analysis will give their audiences a vastly improved understanding of how information travels online and who’s really hidden behind user accounts and messaging networks. 

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Covid-19 Lays Waste to Local Newspapers

By Kristen Hare

The coronavirus has closed more than 60 local newsrooms across America. And counting. At first, the pandemic cost newsrooms jobs and communities critical work. Now it’s starting to end entire newsrooms.

Covering Michigans Election Standoff

By Anna Clark
Columbia Journalism Review

Much of the best coverage came from those who navigated the intricacies of local politics without losing sight of the big story: a president and his supporters trying to change the results of an election by explicitly casting people in majority-Black communities as cheaters in order to throw out their votes.

Google Breaks an AI Bias Researcher

By Shirin Ghaffary

Timnit Gebru says she was pushed out of the company; now some are worried it will have a chilling effect on academics in tech.

Spotify’s Streaming Model

By Alexander Billet

Between fights over compensating artists and the unionization of podcast company workers, it’s clear that even the world of digital streaming has class conflict at its heart.

Hustling Gamers

By Benjamin Frisch

Is Electronic Arts secretly juicing the difficulty of its games to get players to spend more money?

TikTok’s Viral Video of the Year

By Jacob Kastrenakes
The Verge

Bella Poarch’s hypnotic video lip-syncing “M to the B” was TikTok’s biggest viral video of the year, TikTok announced this morning. Poarch was followed by 420doggface208’s instantly iconic skate / cran-raspberry juice video set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”