Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time for the Nightly News - on Tuesday

Life on the Social Web
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ....until Tuesday
Some of my colleagues blogging here at SHRM have expressed frustration over a new embargo placed on a couple of stories by SHRM.

What is a news embargo? A news embargo or press embargo is a request by a news source that information provided by that source will not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met. The understanding is that if the embargo is broken by reporting before then, the source will retaliate by restricting access to further information by that writer.

Embargoes are typically used to permit advance stories to be prepared and released in a coordinated effort with the general release of the news.

This works pretty well in traditional media like newspapers.
For bloggers, it is frustrating to be sitting on news you could be writing about right away.

It is yet another example of ways in which the immediacy of the social web creates a disruptive conflict for tactics of traditional media.

It seems that just as the law often fails to keep up with technological changes, traditional media tactics aren't keeping up with the ability and desire to create content on the web immediately.

What do you think?
Should news being shared with bloggers be embargoed?


  1. Two things I want to point out:

    1. SHRM can do whatever they want because it's their event. If they want an embargo, that's up to them and for you to decide if you want to leak the information. If you want to deal with the risks, that's up to you.

    There was a story at the Washington Post a couple years ago where a blogger fib the pot amount where reporters had a $50 pool on who would win the Masters. The blogger wrote it was a $500 entry pool and stretch it that it was big money, but instead it was a small pot. The Post got upset, and the reporters were just reprimanded for some reason. The blogger who wrote that story, got kicked out the following year.

    The blogger is now part of MSM if you like it or not, so SHRM can do whatever they want if you're part of any media.

    2. This better be a good story for SHRM to embargo. If it's crap, then they'll have eggs on their face. We'll decide if the story is good or not and they think the story is too good, they can withhold it. You might take a risk of writing early, but SHRM can't do nothing about your opinion, and that is where it's important.

  2. @tracytran

    I don't really have a problem with the embargo. I am grateful for the credentials and don't want to jeopardize them. I am fascinated by the near universal lack of enthusiasm for embargoes on the part of the bloggers here, and elesewhere, including Mike Arrington at TechCrunch. I see the conflict as a changing paradigm in media driven by expectation of immediacy hat prevails so much in the social web.

  3. Yeah, they should play it differently. Drop hints and have you all running around trying to figure out what is happening. Get a buzz going.

    Or load up all the data you need and get some pre-writing going and then bam - do something that you all jump on.

  4. I think that an embargo can create a win-win situation.

    The writer gets advance notice and time to write a good article. The organization gets good, coordinated new stories.

    If you disallow embargoes then organizations will not share the info ahead of time and everyone loses.


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