Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for December 2016

Daily Mail breaks embargo on gonorrhea-killing mouthwash study in BMJ journal

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daily-mailSexually Transmitted Infections, a journal published by the BMJ, has lifted the embargo early on a study of Listerine and gonorrhea after the Daily Mail ran a story 24 hours before the scheduled embargo.

From an email sent to The BMJ’s press list this morning: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Scrap embargoes? Careful what you wish for, says longtime PR pro

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Brian Reid

Brian Reid

On Tuesday, Vox posted what I called my “embargo manifesto.” I’ve been pleased to see it generate substantial discussion, including disagreement and criticism, on social media. And I’m also pleased to present this guest post from Brian Reid, a former reporter for Bloomberg who’s now a director at PR/communications firm W2O, responding to the piece.

Reading Ivan Oransky’s well-thought out missive against the use of embargoes in scientific and medical communication reminded me of the Winston Churchill chestnut about democracy: It’s the worst form of government, except for all of the others. The embargo system, in which vetted reporters receive additional time to assess and report complex information, in return for agreeing not to publish before a certain time, is also the worst system, except for all of the others.

In Oransky’s view, the current system encourages hype, discourages context and empowers journals and corporations to the detriment of reporters and, particularly, their audiences. Much of that criticism is spot-on.

But what would the world of medical reporting look like if embargoes went away? Certainly different, but probably not better. Here’s what you’d get every Wednesday at 5 p.m. (when the New England Journal of Medicine goes public): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 1, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized