postwatcher04 - at - hotmail.com

About PostWatch
 
..::Archives::..


 
..::Links::..
The Nation

Winds of Change

Memri

Virginia Gun Rights

= WatchBlogs =
Timeswatch

Alphecca

Biased BBC

ChronWatch (SF Chronicle)

Croooow Blog

OmbudsGod

Regnum Crucis

Rhetorica









  ..::Other Links::..
Debka.com

Independent Women's Forum

Inkwell

MRC

Romanesko

CampusWatch.org

Amy Wellborn

Mark Shea

Kesher Talk

Right Wing News

Eleven Day Empire

Discriminations

Where is Raed?

Healing Iraq

The Command Post

Powerline







 
PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post


Brought to you by Christopher Rake
















PostWatch
 

Friday, September 20, 2002
 
9:53 AM

Another embargo imbroglio... Bill's Content spots Medianews.org info on accusations that the Washington Post broke an embargo on a recent census of religion in the U.S. There's no way to tell for sure what happened, of course, but we've seen this movie before, when a reporter wrote about that hormone-replacement study. Back then, as now, the reporter said she got the information ahead of the embargo on her own.

Bill's weighs competing arguments and has this take:

Newspapers are under no ethical obligation to honor an embargo on information sent to them unsolicited. In the end, that has to be the only ethical consideration: does the public's need to know supercede the benefits of breaking an embargo? Is it does, I say go for it.

Well....usually you don't get on an embargo list unless A. You've already established a relationship with the institution, 2. You're a big media outlet, or C. Both. So if you've cultivated a relationship, are provided advance info on the basis of trust, and then violate it, in my mind you're not existing on some kind of higher moral plane--you broke your word, and as an editor I probably wouldn't want that kind of reporter working for me. On the other hand, if you're pursuing the story on your own initiative and have good enough sources to leak the report to you in advance, that's usually a good thing.

I know, inside baseball. I'm a writer, I can't help it.

A lot of this stuff revolves around the idea of mutually beneficial exploitation. Institutions have embargoes to hype their study and control timing. Reporters accept them to write better stories, since embargoes give them the time to understand complicated subjects well before a deadline. The U.S. saw what happens when you don't have embargoes during the conclusion of the Gore-Bush election dispute, with reporters frantically flipping through the pages of the Supreme Court's decision on live TV. I think that was entertaining, one time.

UPDATE: Bill pays us a visit in the comments section and points out he's commenting on unsolicited embargoes.




Comments: Post a Comment
 
Powered by Blogger Pro™


Google
Search WWW Search postwatch.blogspot.com