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Fusion Reporter Live Streams the NYPD Tragedy on His Block

This is absolutely the last thing Fusion reporter Tim Pool wanted to be sharing on the Saturday before Christmas. But because he lives on a Brooklyn block next to the intersection where two NYPD cops were brazenly and fatally ambushed this afternoon, he is live streaming at press time via YouTube as he reacts and investigates.

A friend texted Pool this afternoon when the horrific news of the shooting first broke, asking if Pool lived near the incident scene. Pool, via the stream above, explained that once he looked out his window, he realized the shooting had occurred very close to his Myrtle Avenue front doorstep in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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China Jails the Most Journalists

china-flag.jpgMemo to all reporters — might want to bypass that assignment in China. According to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), China imprisoned 44 journalists this year, giving it the unfortunate honor of being the worst jailer of the press in the entire world.

Overall, there were 220 reporters in jail during 2014, up from 211 last year. China led the way, but Iran wasn’t far behind, with 30 journalists imprisoned.

“China’s use of anti-state charges and Iran’s revolving door policy in imprisoning reporters, bloggers, editors, and photographers earned the two countries the dubious distinction of being the world’s worst and second worst jailers of journalists, respectively,” explained the CPJ report. “Together, China and Iran are holding a third of journalists jailed globally—despite speculation that new leaders who took the reins in each country in 2013 might implement liberal reforms.”

The rest of the top 10 includes Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

Other highlights (or really, lowlights) from the CPJ report are below.

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Merriam-Webster Names ‘Culture’ Word of The Year

According to Merriam-Webster, the word of the year is “Culture.” Like it or not, you have to agree it’s better than Oxford’s word of the year, “vape.”

“Culture is a word that we seem to be relying on more and more,” said Peter Sokolowksi, Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, in an announcement. “It allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group with seriousness.”

Merriam-Webster selected culture as the top dog after analyzing the top searches on its site, and then focusing on words that had shown the greatest increase since last year. Culture beat out some pretty solid words, such as “nostalgia” and “insidious,” number two and three on Merriam-Webster’s top 10 words of the year list, respectively.

Below is Merriam-Webster’s full list. “Rad” did not make the cut. Sorry.

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Vocativ Pays a Visit to Eric Garner’s Gravesite

ShutterstockGarnerProtesterMike Spies came over to Vocativ from the editorial board of The New Yorker. Today, he shares a rich and powerful point of view on Eric Garner by way of a visit to the victim’s gravesite at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan.

Spies was there Thursday:

A kind woman with a tattoo on her chest directed me to an area of the cemetery behind a large mausoleum called Elmlawn. Garner’s plot was labeled 8B-1.

I walked to Elmlawn but couldn’t find the plot. The ground was soggy from several days of rain and snow. A small man in a maintenance cart pulled up beside me and asked if I needed help. I said I was looking for 8B-1.

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From Ballroom Dancing to Firearms Curation

BuffaloBillCenterLogoMedia colleagues, get ready to learn how to properly spell and pronounce the name Hlebinsky. As in Ashley Hlebinsky, who in January will take over as the U.S.’s first female firearms curator.

Hlebinsky tells Billings, Montana NBC affiliate KULR that to go along with a recent national radio interview, another write-up is forthcoming in True West magazine. Although she still teaches ballroom dancing, she admits to reporter Penny Preston that the Cody Firearms Museum wing of the Buffalo Bill Center is a long way from Manhattan dance studios:

Ironically, her first passion had nothing to do with guns, or the west. When she was just fourteen, she started ballroom dancing in New York City.

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White House to Reporters: No Selfies with Prince William

During his visit to the United States, Prince Willy the Great met President Obama for no real reason. Despite the meaninglessness of the event, you never can be too careful when dealing with the media, so the White House ordered reporters not to take selfies.

According to The Telegraph, before the pool reporters were brought into the room, the President’s aide made a point of asking that no one act like a 13-year-old. This was necessary because when Obama met with France’s president François Hollande, a group of French journalists couldn’t resist taking selfies.

This is the world we live in. Embrace it.

[Image: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com]

Pulitzer Prizes Expand Eligibility

PulitzerThe Pulitzer Prizes have opened their golden arms to magazines. The board announced that it will now allow entries from print and online magazines in the Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing categories.

“After a considered review and discussion, we are adopting these changes in a spirit of experimentation, rooted in a commitment to the enduring values of great journalism,” said Danielle Allen, chair of the Pulitzer board, in a statement. ”We have chosen to focus our evolution on investigative reporting because of its relevance to public life and feature writing because of its emphasis on literary merit.”

The Pulitzers have also changed their guidelines on partnerships. News organizations can now nominate partnering organizations, even if those organizations aren’t Pulitzer eligible. “We support efforts to use cross-media partnerships, new platforms and new tools to strengthen the cause of journalism,” added Allen.

Bill Cosby Pushes AP Reporter to Exclude Rape Questions

Bill Cosby’s strategy to just keep quiet about the seemingly never-ending rape allegations is not working. People want him to talk about these horrible claims, even though we all know what he’s going to say. Cosby must think his tactic is smart, because he even pressured an AP reporter to delete questions about the rape from a video interview.

On November 6, an AP reporter asked Cosby about the allegations during an interview about his art collection. Cosby replied “There’s no response. There is no comment about that. And I’ll tell you why. I don’t want to compromise your integrity, but I don’t talk about it.”

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‘Vape’ is 2014′s Word of The Year

Oxford Dictionaries has selected “Vape” as 2014′s Word of The Year. So vape em if you got em! Or whatever. As you probably know, the word is a verb or a noun, and refers to the act of using an electronic cigarette or the actual e-cig itself.

Vape has been around since the early 80s but only recently took off; along with the e-cig trend. ”A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from ‘smoking,’” said the Oxford editors, in their announcement. “The word vape arose to fill this gap, and it has proliferated along with the habit.”

If you don’t like vape, we don’t blame you. However, it’s certainly better than some of the words it beat out, like “Bae.” You know how we feel about that word. Below are other words Oxford considered.

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Uber Exec Suggests Digging for Dirt on Critical Journalists

Uber logo GAn Uber executive, speaking at a dinner, told an audience that included journalists that in order to defend itself from critical reporters, the company could look into “your personal lives, your families.” BuzzFeed reports that Emil Michael specifically cited PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy:

At the dinner, Michael expressed outrage at Lacy’s column and said that women are far more likely to get assaulted by taxi drivers than Uber drivers. He said that he thought Lacy should be held ‘personally responsible’ for any woman who followed her lead in deleting Uber and was then sexually assaulted.

Then he returned to the opposition research plan. Uber’s dirt-diggers, Michael said, could expose Lacy. They could, in particular, prove a particular and very specific claim about her personal life.

BuzzFeed noted that Michael made the comments in a conversation he later said he thought was off the record. Through a spokesperson, Michael has already made an apology. Because threatening people — especially journalists who love nothing more than to talk about themselves — is likely never a good business strategy. Unless you’re in the mob.

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