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3:00 PM ET, February 12, 2015


 Top News: 
Reporters Without Borders:
Freedom of information declined in 2/3 of the 180 countries surveyed for World Press Freedom Index  —  World Press Freedom Index 2015: decline on all fronts  —  The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria …
Emily Steel / New York Times:
Behind NBC's decision to suspend TV anchor Brian Williams, after an internal probe into his tales of facing danger in Iraq and New Orleans  —  Brian Williams Scandal Prompts Frantic Efforts at NBC to Curb Rising Damage  —  Hours before Brian Williams took the anchor's chair for the nightly newscast …
Washington Post:
Within NBC, an intense debate over whether to fire Brian Williams  —  (Stephanie Klein-Davis/Roanoke Times via AP)  —  Senior NBC officials seriously considered firing anchor Brian Williams because he lied to his viewers about riding in a military helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during …
Stephen Battaglio / Los Angeles Times:
Lester Holt seen as heir apparent to Brian Williams at ‘Nightly News’
CBS News:
Longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon, 73, dies in car crash in New York City  —  CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, 1941-2015  —  NEW YORK — Bob Simon, the longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent and legendary CBS News foreign reporter died suddenly tonight in a car accident in New York City.
Benjamin Mullin / Poynter:
Major news organizations to reveal new freelancer safety guidelines … A coalition of prominent news outlets and journalism advocacy groups Thursday will release a set of guidelines at Columbia Journalism School for the protection of freelancers.  —  The recommendations …
Will Steacy / Popular Mechanics:
How The New York Times Works  —  This is how the Gray Lady gets made in 2015  —  Ernie Booth, the operations manager of the main printing plant of The New York Times, is walking the floor.  The plant is a 515,000-square-foot building in Queens, on the Van Wyck Expressway, half a mile from LaGuardia Airport.
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Rdio and AEG team up to tailor your tunes based on what concerts you go to  —  Mobile executive?  VB is hosting our 5th annual Mobile Summit on February 23-24 at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, CA.  See if you qualify here.  —  Music-streaming platform Rdio has revealed …
Roy Greenslade / Guardian:
Le Monde owner's criticism of HSBC leak coverage lays bare fragility of press freedom  —  AJ Liebling's famous aphorism - “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one” - cannot be said often enough.  —  I imagine there are journalists in Paris saying something like this today.
David Dawson / The Diplomat:
Chinese Authorities Snuff out Last Online Remnants of the New York Times  —  The paper's last social media account vanished from Sina Weibo this week.  —  Likes  —  On Monday the Chinese authorities played one of the last cards in their war against the New York Times in Chinese cyberspace.
Al Jazeera trial: Egypt court frees journalists on bail  —  A court in Egypt has ordered the release on bail of two Al Jazeera journalists, at the start of their retrial on the charge of spreading false news to help a terrorist group.  —  Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were imprisoned …
Chris Smith / Digiday:
Publisher departures, technical glitches, and lack of signups led to the failure of Piano Media's countrywide Slovenian paywall  —  How a countrywide paywall faltered  —  Publishers on the hunt for digital media are increasingly turning to paywalls or metered-access systems.
Tim Peterson / AdAge:
Facebook to show live relevance scores for ads based on expected feedback from target audience, to let advertisers tweak ads for higher relevance, lower cost  —  It's a 10: Facebook Starts Telling Brands How Relevant Their Ads Are  —  Highly Relevant Ads May Cost Less for Advertisers
Discussion: mUmBRELLA
David Uberti / Columbia Journalism Review:
Jon Stewart served as an irreverent media critic for a generation turned off by broadcast news  —  Why the media will miss Jon Stewart  —  The fake newsman gave viewers what many legacy outlets could not  —  I was a sophomore at Northwestern University in 2010 when The Daily Show's Jon Stewart …
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 More News: 
Joellen Easton / Public Insight Network:
American Public Media reports on its evaluation of early crowdfunder and officially sunsets project
UK politics site Guido Fawkes launches environment, tech, and media channels in new redesign
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
YouTube experimenting with personalized radio feature, based on YouTube Mix video playlists
Toronto Star:
Thomson Reuters CEO says multi-year turnaround nearly complete, growth ahead
Joe Mullin / Ars Technica:
Sirius will take pre-1972 state copyright case straight to appeals court
Discussion: Hollywood Reporter and Gigaom
 Earlier Picks: 
Angie Drobnic Holan / PolitiFact:
PolitiFact California to launch this summer on more than 30 radio stations
John McDuling / Quartz:
Napster still exists, and it has millions of streaming subscribers
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Twitter to pay about $30M for Niche, and possibly up to $60M with earnouts and employment contracts included
J.K. Trotter / Gawker:'s News Director Jared Keller appears to have plagiarized at least 20 passages from at least eight sources in the past several months