Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

No, we didn’t break embargoes on those JAMA studies — but did others?

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For those of you who cover JAMA, or wait for its usual embargo time of 4 p.m. Eastern Tuesdays to devour media coverage of it, you may have been surprised by all the stories about studies in it that went live already today.

We covered three, for example: One on behavioral treatment for Tourette’s syndrome, one reporting that men get postpartum depression too, and one on a higher risk of depression among those with traumatic brain injuries.

They all went live at or near 10 a.m. Eastern, prompting one press officer to email us to ask whether we’d broken an embargo.

Nope, but I was confused last week too when the JAMA press packet — this is a special issue on mental health — went out with 10 a.m. Eastern on some of the studies, but not others. The embargo was timed for the start of a press conference on several of the studies, but not all — the Tourette’s study, for example.

I checked last week with Jann Ingmire, director of media relations for JAMA and the Archives journals, who told me the whole issue was lifting at 10. So happy reading.

My question, however, is whether these two stories — one on the postpartum depression study, published last night by a CBS TV affiliate, and an ABC Good Morning America story on the same thing, posted about 9 a.m. today — were breaks. Will update if I find out.

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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