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Friday Links: NY Times Closes Environmental Desk, Time Magazine Criticized, Daily News Sued

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What's happening today in the media world:

NY Times closes its environmental desk, a move that managing editor Dean Baquet says it not related to recent buyouts. (via Poynter)

Instead, Baquet said the change was prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting. When the desk was created in early 2009, the environmental beat was largely seen as "singular and isolated," he said. It was pre-fracking and pre-economic collapse. But today, environmental stories are "partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects," Baquet said. "They are more complex. We need to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story."

Chinese newspaper Southern Weekend is publishing again, but censorship fight isn't over. Zhang Ping, a former editor and columnist at the paper, weighs in

"For me, the most important thing about this incident is that it's exposed the dark insides of the Propaganda Department," Mr. Zhang said, speaking about the censorship uproar from Germany, where he now lives. "It's almost impossible to appeal against the Propaganda Department. You couldn't question their decisions."

More links:

Jon Stewart mocked Fox's coverage of Al Jazeera-Current deal on Thursday night's show. Byron York argues that Gore was more deserving of being skewered.

On "The O'Reilly Factor," Glenn Beck said he's not "rebranding" The Blaze, but the network will concentrate on libertarian movement.

Time gets criticized for cover of Chris Christie, who joked about reporting the magazine to the anti-Italian defamation league.

Daily News photo editor suing over age discrimination.