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The practice of telling newsrooms they can't run a story until a particular time is both a gift and a constraint. It highlights the often fraught relationship between people and organizations who think they have a story to tell and the journalists who want to tell it.

Embargos appear on some news releases instructing journalists that the information may not be published until a prescribed time – usually midnight on a particular date. For example: ‘Embargoed until 0001 Friday July 25’. On forward planning desks which are looking for scheduled material to include in future editions or programmes, embargoed material can be a godsend. The story can be covered, quotes and interviews obtained before the embargo and the piece completed and published. Space or airtime is ...

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