Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rules of the game

From time to time, organizations send us information they know we're going to be interested in. To give reporters a head start on their stories--dozens or hundreds of pages with raw numbers need background and context to make any sense, and that takes time--they send out their data before it's released to the general public. That's the case with ACT scores this week.

ACT sent journalists their national and state results on Monday morning. But the information is embargoed until 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, meaning it can't appear in publications or broadcasts until them. So check out Wednesday's edition of The Star to find out how Alabama's 2007 grads performed on the college admissions test.

Journalists for years have abided by the embargo rules, and they risk losing access to the organization of they break them. But this 2002 piece from the American Journalism Review documents some of the problems they can cause.

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