OK, reporters writing about the Senate. This is a bit tricky, but here's what you want to do. When the minority party blocks a nomination or a bill when a simple majority was available for passage or confirmation, what you want to say is that the nomination (say) was defeated by filibuster. As in: the Senate today defeated by filibuster the nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the DC Circuit.
What you don't want is, as the WaPo's Felicia Sonmez put it in an otherwise very nice story, that "Republicans on Tuesday filibustered the nomination." Why not? Because they've been filibustering it all along, not just on Tuesday -- and because they would have been filibustering even if they had failed to sustain it in the cloture vote. That is, a filibuster that fails to stop something is still a filibuster (after all, we all call what Strom Thurman did in 1957 a filibuster, even though eventually he lost and the bill passed). Politico's Scott Wong also had it wrong with similar wording. The Hill's Josiah Ryan had the somewhat better "The Senate voted to sustain a filibuster," but unfortunately the headline was the terrible "Senate GOP votes to defeat...", which takes the filibuster out entirely and suggests that a majority voted against Halligan. The AP had "blocked...failed to break a filibuster," which is probably the best of the lot.
But I'd highly recommend "defeated by filibuster." Or, if you want to be even more accurate and convey more information: "defeated by minority filibuster." It's concise, and includes the two crucial facts: that the nomination was in fact defeated, and that the means of defeat was a filibuster.
Remember, Senate Republicans -- breaking with precedent -- declared as soon as Barack Obama was elected that they would institute a true 60 vote Senate, which means that they have resolved to filibuster ever single bill and every single nomination, something that has never been done before. And they've followed through; I believe that they did allow one nomination to get through without 60 votes this year, but that's about it. The fact that they are doing so is an ongoing important story, and while obviously beat reporters aren't going to write about that all the time, they shouldn't hide it in their standard descriptions of what's happening, either.