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Embargoed For Pathetic Reasons

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Flying Headbutt, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Is this something you would honor?

    Get a story about a conviction in a drug murder. Everything is all wrapped up, but the state's attorney's PR flack put an embargo on it for later. I call non-chalantly to find out why I couldn't write it up and slap it online and right away the guy gets defensive and starts telling me he's only explaining it out of courtesy, and to remember we all have a good working relationship together. Bottom line is, he did it because a TV station helped provide copies of video to other TV outlets, of which I have nothing to do with, and so that meant they got the story first to hype up for the 6pm news I guess. PR flack admits it's a stupid reason and regretted doing so, and that maybe next time he'd embargo something for us out whatever. All really pathetic ass excuses. But because he was uncharacteristically ass-hattish to me and admitted he had no legitimate excuse for what he did, he just did it, I have half a mind to just post it anyway. Am I just overreacting on a story that is not exactly a headline grabber for us anyway?

    **And as the more I write about it the more I'm starting to think so. But I'm still agitated now.
  2. You gain very little by posting the story.

    You could lose a great deal.

    The flack's got the power, I'm afraid.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Play his game, maybe you get something later. I wouldn't be canceling my subscription to your paper if you didn't have that story in.
  4. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Technically, if the conviction is in the books and you have the story, I don't see how anybody can "embargo" the information. Isn't it technically public record now?

    At the very least, I'd arrange to have it on my paper's website the very second the embargo ends.
  5. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    Do you have a story or a press release?

    If you have a story for which you have done all the original research, that's one thing. But embargoed press releases are another thing.

    And I suppose the press release itself is technically public record since it was created by a government agency, but I wouldn't expect to get any more of them if you don't honor the embargo.

    EDIT: Just read your original post more closely. If this was actually a trial/conviction that happened earlier today, that's a very bizarre embargo.
  6. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    It was just a press release. Basically it was done because he wanted to give video footage to all the TV stations and one station promised to provide copies to every other station if they could get the exclusive first. I think I was just more upset with his tone and testiness with me over what started as a rather innocent question and ended with him admitting there was no reason for me to have to wait. Though I may have beaten the embargo by about 5 minutes or so, I'm certain that no one noticed it.
  7. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    That's an excellent idea. If the only reason he's having everyone hold it is so the TV can get it out first, it shouldn't matter when you post it, just so long as it goes on after their newscast.
  8. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    Why would the other TV stations stand for that?

    I agree, it sounds weird -- a conviction's a public record and had to have happened in an open courtroom. (Even if it was the upholding of a conviciotn on appeal, that would come out of the court and not the AG's office.)

    What's so embargo-worthy in some press release about it? Quotes? You can always add those later.
  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Nail the conviction from another source. Say, the Prosecutor, ADA or DA.
    Then, you have the story.
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