Sure embargo's can be useful, but I think creating a private wiki will result in many problems including:

1. A two tier system where some editors can access the private wiki
2. No transparency 

If you have to agree not to publish a quote, leave the space blank and create the article in Wikinews:Story Preparation. That way Wikinews will have the transparency that Wikimedia was founded on

From the Wikimedia values :

"All the legal freedom to modify or distribute educational content is useless if users cannot get access to it."

And people cannot access it if it is in this private wiki.



On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 9:08 PM, Sue Gardner <> wrote:
Ilya Haykinson wrote:
> An embargo is actually simply a way for an organization with something
> newsworthy to ensure that multiple news organizations are able to
> cover the news.  There are a lot of news publications now, and lots of
> places that have something newsworthy.  It's not possible for everyone
> to organize press conferences where all the reporters show up at once
> and write down the story as they hear it.
> So, instead, the embargo is just a practical method to allow a
> slightly slower release of news, without too much unfairness to
> different press organizations.
> For example, a company may be about to release a new product.  They
> want to contact about 30 news organizations to let them know about the
> product, show the product to them, etc.  So the company rep gets on a
> plane, and flies to meet the different journalists over a course of a
> week or two.  They show them the product, talk about it, etc, under
> the condition that the journalist doesn't publish anything until a
> certain date -- the same date as everybody else.
> The journalist is free to not follow the embargo.  Indeed, sometimes
> the news is so important that the journalist decides to break the
> embargo.  However, remember -- they only got to learn the news early
> because the company shared it with them.  If they didn't agree to the
> embargo in the first place, they would have found out about the
> product _after_ everyone else who was under the embargo already
> published their articles.  Indeed, if a journalist breaks embargo,
> they sometimes get "blacklisted" by the company whose product it was
> -- next time, they won't be on the list of journalists the company
> talks to beforehand.  Sometimes this is worth the risk for the
> journalist, but for most routine situations it's really not.
> The embargo system isn't perfect.  In the case of political events of
> high importance, embargo is simply unfair: a press conference makes
> more sense, so everybody learns about it at once.  However, in the
> normal course of events, it solves the problem of having to inform
> many journalists at once, and letting them have a day or more to do
> their research and get their balanced articles going, without the fear
> that they'll be scooped by someone else.
> -ilya

Yes, that's all correct. The purpose of an embargo is generally to allow
journalists to absorb material that's been released to them, without
having to rush to publish. The embargo process is oft-misused (used when
it's not necessary, or not very helpful), but that's what its intent is
supposed to be. It's good in situations in which what's being announced
is particularly complex, such that journalists should/would need time to
absorb it.  For example, in Canada the federal government's budget is
always embargoed: the embargo is enforced via a lock-up of the
participating journalists.

But what Anon101 was originally posting about, I think, was Mike's
notion that Wikinews should have a non-public discussion space in which
to develop stories. Which I think could be a good idea, for reasons that
I outlined in a note to Brian, which he published (with my permission)
in the thread [Wikinews-l] FW: Wikinews reporting on WMF and projects.

That was part of a pretty long note about guiding principles for news
organizations covering themselves, based on my experience at the CBC.  I
feel like I've said my piece -in that note- already - I would love to
know what the people on this list think.


> On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 9:02 AM, divol <> wrote:
>> Le 19 mai 08 à 17:40, Paul Williams a écrit :
>>> embargo or "media blackout"
>> are very bad.
>> I do not know who create this mechanism and why journalists'ld follow
>> this rule.
>> I know "embargo" exists as i fall upon one time or two (i am not a
>> professional journalist) and very surprised each time.
>> Franckly, i don't understand how "freedom of press" and embargo could
>> exist both.
>> For exemple, in France, when there's a vote, no one should know the
>> results before the end of the ballote, but journalists (and politics,
>> friends and famillies)  know, why ?, because "embargo"?  (not good
>> english i am sorry)
>> For me, Wikinews 'ld find his/her way outside this strange way to do
>> press and news : embargo or "media blackout"
>> we already have "Flags", it's enought
>> no border for knowledge, please.
>> no social or profesional border for Knowledge, please
>> jacques divol
>> (i hope i am not off topic)
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikinews-l mailing list
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Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

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