Daily Podcast: Embargo THIS

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
daily podcast embargo this

I never understood the concept of an automotive-related news embargo. It's easy enough to see what's in it for the carmaker. They can time their marketing and promotion campaign to coincide with the "reveal." They can use the embargo to play favorites. But why would any self-respecting automotive journalist agree to hold onto a story for the convenience of the manufacturer? It's one of those carrot and stick deals. The carrot: primo access to future stories/products. The stick: NOT getting primo access to future stories/products. Either way, any scribe that allows a carmaker to manipulate the journalistic process through a news embargo is guilty of collusion. (That's just a fancy way of saying "selling out.") From my perspective, it's like this: I get the information. I publish the information. My primary responsibility is to my readers. Period. if you don't want me to publish info until Friday, don't give it to me until Friday. And if I find a way to get it before Friday, that's your tough luck. So if there are any news organizations out there who agree with me, but don't want to get their ass kicked by the carmakers, here's an invitation. Send TTAC the info and we'll break the embargo. And once we break it, you're free to follow suit. That way we can work together to end this perfidious practice once and for all.

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4 of 15 comments
  • Gary Grant Gary Grant on Nov 08, 2007

    RF - I know this may sound lame and a bit non committal, but it just feels like the right thing to do. As you know, I have an industry background, not a journalistic background so sometimes I might be missing a little bit of that killer instinct that some of my fellow online journos have. I try to do whatever feels right in any given case.

  • David Thomas David Thomas on Nov 08, 2007

    we return the cars fully fueled yes. As for embargoes I think more and more will be kept kind of like the vibe and matrix last week. the automakers just won't let it out.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Nov 09, 2007

    Robert: perhaps we lost press car access because we'd return them with empty tanks? I was guilty of that too.

  • Gary Grant Gary Grant on Nov 09, 2007

    Sajeev, I think you may have a point!