Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

AP breaks abortion data embargo

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guttmacher_largeYesterday, following a break by the Associated Press (AP), the Guttmacher Institute press office lifted the embargo early on a study showing that abortion rates had fallen to 1970s levels.

From a message sent by the Guttmacher Institute at 4:40 p.m. Eastern, more than seven hours before the scheduled embargo lift at 12:01 a.m.:

We have just been informed that the embargo was broken by the AP. Given that, you are all now free to publish your stories. I apologize for any inconvenience.

The Guttmacher press office tells Embargo Watch:

The AP contacted us yesterday afternoon to apologize for the broken embargo; they are looking into what happened on their end to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Our understanding is that it was an inadvertent early release rather than a deliberate attempt to scoop other outlets. As a result of their error, we lifted the embargo early for all other media outlets as well.

Almost exactly three years ago, a technical glitch at the AP broke the embargo on a JAMA study of Avastin. A few other “breaksby the news agency were actually not breaks at all.

Hat tip: Andrew Seaman

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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