Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

CBS breaks embargo on stem cells-brain tumor study, won’t face sanctions

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A CBS news service broke the embargo early this morning on a study using stem cells to treat cognitive problems in people with brain tumors. From an email to the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR’s) press list at 9:51 a.m. Eastern today:

Due to an embargo break, the embargo on the press release “Stem Cell Treatment May Restore Cognitive Function in Patients with Brain Cancer,” which had been previously set at 12:05 a.m. on Friday July 15, 2011, is released. Reporters and editors planning to do the story can release their items at this time.

AACR’s Michele Sharp tells Embargo Watch:

We were alerted to the embargo break when our video monitoring services picked up the story on about 46 CBS affiliates, beginning with a station in West Palm Beach at 4:30 a.m. The producer at the West Palm Beach affiliate confirmed that it had come off the CBS NewsPath wire services that go out to all affiliates.

The health producer for CBS Newspath was called and she immediately apologized. A junior producer had put the wrong date on the wire copy and it was thus distributed inadvertently.

We consider this embargo break to be accidental and will not be issuing sanctions.

AACR has had at least two other embargo breaks recently. There was a break in April, and the association broke its on embargo on Twitter in December. It has not sanctioned any of the breakers — including itself.

Thanks to a number of people who sent me this. It was in my inbox, but would have gotten lost without those tips.


Written by Ivan Oransky

July 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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