Corporate PR mavens at big tech companies like Google and Apple may enjoy a certain level of power over the press for now, but according to tech gossip blog Valleywag, they should enjoy it while they can. The favored “media embargo” — which allows companies to give the press sneak previews of new products under the condition that news not be released until a specified date — looks like it’s on its way out.
Blogs often scoop the news before the embargo date has passed, and how much of a sneak peek is it anyway, when many newspapers are privy to the advanced info and all making the same orchestrated announcement — same day, same time? Now, the newest generation of newspaper managers are making audible protests against the embargo policy — among them, Marcus Brauchli, The Wall Street Journal’s new managing editor.
But really, it’s always been a race for the privilege to be the first to break the news. At issue isn’t so much the media embargo, but that newspapers must now keep pace with the blogs. Bloggers abide by different rules than journalists, and it’ll be interesting to see how the mainstream media continues to keep pace with this new wave of reporting.