Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Here we go again: Another Pew report embargo broken, this time by Nieman Journalism Lab

with one comment

There was an unusual note at the end of a Nieman Journalism Lab item today on a Pew Internet & American Life Project report on mobile apps (itals from the original):

[Editor’s note: Originally, we accidentally published this post too early and jumped the gun on an embargo. Our sincere apologies to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, who have since lifted the embargo.]

NiemanLab also tweeted their apology, which was a worthy transparent move.

Other news organizations followed soon after the Pew lifted the embargo, which was set for sometime tomorrow. I don’t have the original press release, so I don’t know how it was marked. If anyone has a copy, I’d love to see it.

This is the third embargo snafu involving the Pew in just over a month. In one case, the Pew said USA Today had broken an embargo on a report on drug safety, “but then didn’t seem that upset about it, probably because it wasn’t entirely clear what time the embargo actually lifted,” as I wrote in that post. In another case, Pew’s materials were similarly embargoed “for Thursday a.m. publication,” but a reporter posted something Wednesday morning, when their Thursday print edition goes live online.

Sure, these are eagerly awaited reports, and frequently covered, so maybe these are just coincidences. But a lot of journals and other organizations put out similar material. Anyone have any guesses as to what’s going on?

Thanks to Brendan Maher for flagging the NiemanLab item.

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hello Ivan — I thought the embargo lifted today. It was 100% my mistake. As soon as Pew let me know I broke the embargo prematurely, I did my best to correct by removing the body of the post with an apology. In response to your question about “what’s going on,” with Pew embargoes, I can say that in this instance, it was purely human error. –Laura

    Laura McGann

    September 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm


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