TV producer makes case for longer embargoes

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Bob Ray, a medical producer at WMAQ-Chicago, makes the argument that television journalists need more advanced notice on embargoed stories.

Ray, who shared his view in a guest blog posting for Newswise in June, says that cutbacks in television news mean that, at his station, they can only shoot video interviews once or twice a week.

It would be helpful if we had at least one week’s warning for the release dates of studies and reports. That way, we could interview the study authors, if practicable, or interview one of our local Chicago experts about the study, and then contact the study author by phone to answer any remaining questions.

Ray points out that also gives WMAQ a chance to send its video to the NBC syndication service, possibly giving Newswise clients more exposure. Newswise distributes news releases to journalists.

Television reporters: Do you agree or disagree with Ray’s suggestion? Are you finding it difficult to cover embargoed stories because you don’t have enough lead time?

1 thought on “TV producer makes case for longer embargoes

  1. Andrew Holtz

    Of course it’s nice to have more time to research and report stories… and yes, for TV reporters, getting the facts isn’t enough, you have to get the pictures, too. But face it, all the pressure is to reduce turn-around time. Embargoes will not be lengthened, and there are strong arguments for shortening or even eliminating them.

    The practical response is to take full advantage of Skype and other video communication options… computer graphics that can help tell a visually interesting story without dispatching a camera crew to a distant research site… and other new technologies that have made video production astonishingly less cumbersome than it was years ago.

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