More on the WSJ story
Friday, April 10, 2009 at 04:20PM
Nick Ragone

Check it out: Felix Salmon at Portfolio.com did a small piece on my post about the Wall Street Journal no longer accepting embargoes, evidently spurred on by Reuters media reporter Robert MacMillan's interest in the development. 

The chatter around this has been interesting.  It seems like some reporters at other outlets are interpreting the WSJ's non-embargo edict to mean that they wont be doing "pre-brief embargoes", but they will still consider "exclusive embargoes".  

I'm not sure what the WSJ actually has in mind, but there is a difference between the two.   A pre-brief embargo is sort of like a cattle-call -- it could mean that several (or in some cases many) journalists were pre-briefed and embargoed, with the stories then breaking at the same time.  I could see why the WSJ might be doing away with that (not that they ever did many of those to begin with).

An exclusive embargo, on the other, is just that: an exclusive.  I can't figure out why on earth they wouldn't accept exclusive embargoes.  I mean, don't they trust their reporters to use their discretion when determining if an exclusive embargo opportunity is truly newsworthy?  Most reporters I know have the ability to discern between quality news and corporate pablum.  Weird ...

Footnote:   Kyle Austin at Racepoint Group has an excellent follow up blog post with some additional reporting on the WSJ/embargo sory.

Foonote II: Megan McArdle of the Atlantic.com weighs in as well, mostly to question why Felix Salmon thinks that the new WSJ embargo policy is such a good thing.

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