Photo News – Busting news embargo about winner of the Prix Pictet Photography prize 2009

A quick post re: embargoes. I have been having some discussions with journalists about press embargoes in light of my recent post about the announcement of the Prix Pictet 2009 winner on A Photo Editor‘s blog which was published before the embargo. There are a few questions I wanted to raise about this topic so I will be sending the link to this post, as well as the questions by email, to both A Photo Editor and Jeanette Ward from Theresa Simon & Partners PR department who originally issued the press release:

To Jeanette Ward: Why was the news embargo in place? What was the purpose of the news embargo?

To A Photo Editor: Why did you decide to break the news embargo? Were you aware of the knock-on effect of taking advantage of knowledge before others?

The News Embargo entry on Wikipedia gives some more information on what embargoes are with some examples.

The status of press embargoes – a post by luvly also has something to say about press embargoes, though it is from 2002, however, some of the points made at the end of the post are interesting:
“So, in summary: it would seem that there is no special legal status granted to press embargoes. By releasing information under embargo, the PR is trusting in the journalist to stick to the unwritten rules of the embargo system. But any journalist caught breaking that system is unlikely to get any future assistance from that PR, should they ever require it.”

Barnett on PR (2007) asks: Are Press Embargoes Dead?
He says: “Today’s corporate and organizational media PR professional is no longer looking for ways to schedule the release of news, s/he is struggling to stay ahead of the tidal flow of unauthorized news leaks.”

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