Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Scripps Howard blames empty toner cartridge for JNCI embargo break

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Embargo Watch readers have read about fuzzy embargoes before. Usually, however, I mean that metaphorically. Today, I bring you the story of a break that’s being blamed on a literally fuzzy embargo. 

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) lifted the embargo early this morning on a study of how many doses of the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix are necessary. The study was originally embargoed until 4 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, but was moved up to 10 a.m. Eastern today.

JNCI tells Embargo Watch that a reporter at Scripps Howard News Service broke the embargo, but that it was an accident:

when he printed out the press release from the NIH earlier this week, the toner on his printer was out, so the embargo date was fuzzy.

That’s a new one for me. Or, with all due respect to a competitor news service, a very, very old one, in 2011.

JNCI said it wouldn’t sanction Scripps Howard because it wasn’t their usual practice to do so, plus the news agency isn’t actually on its press list. The fuzzy release, as noted, was from the NIH.

Next week: Reuters breaks an embargo because a carrier pigeon craps on a press release.

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Written by Ivan Oransky

September 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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