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Embargoes



At 2:37 PM -0400 8/11/04, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
First, I do want to add that the original researchers, peer reviewers, and
everyone (not just the press) are bound by embargoes.  Communication
*between* these parties is encouraged, for the reasons outlined in Christian
Darkin's post.


Embargoes are intended as honor-code agreements that let reporters do enough research in advance to get a well-written story out on deadline, when the paper comes out. By and large, they work, but problems can happen.


In this case, and in many others, a story leaks out shortly before the embargo because somebody screws up and forgets to note the embargo, so somebody further along the line thinks it can be published immediately.

Sometimes a reporters picks up a story independently, at a conference or through good research, not through embargoed distribution.

Sometimes the organization handling the embargo blunders and either distributes releases to the wrong people or announces press conferences in advance in terms that leak the story.

Once in a very rare while, a reporter or a publication will intentionally break an embargo to get ahead in what they consider an important story.
--
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com; http://www.jeffhecht.com
Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine
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