WHO media sanctions have little effect

Apparently, the punishment the World Health Organization (WHO) meted out to the New York Times for linkurl:breaking an embargo last week;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53943/ didn't deter other media outlets from doing the same yesterday and today. Early this morning -- 4:28 EST, to be precise -- the WHO sent out a notice to its media list saying that an embargo on a story about children's medicines was being lifted immediately because it had been broken. I searched Google News for

By | December 6, 2007

Apparently, the punishment the World Health Organization (WHO) meted out to the New York Times for linkurl:breaking an embargo last week;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53943/ didn't deter other media outlets from doing the same yesterday and today. Early this morning -- 4:28 EST, to be precise -- the WHO sent out a notice to its media list saying that an embargo on a story about children's medicines was being lifted immediately because it had been broken. I searched Google News for stories based on the press release, and found two news organizations that seem to have broken the embargo, if the Google News and the sites' own time stamps are correct: The linkurl:Matangi Tonga;http://www.matangitonga.to/article/children_061207_0531_pf.shtml and the linkurl:Voice of America. ;http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-12-05-voa34.cfm The Tonga story is time-stamped 05:31, and Tonga is 13 hours ahead of GMT, so it was posted sometime yesterday GMT time. If you're confused, I can't quite figure out when either, but it was clearly before today's 12:30 GMT embargo. The VOA story was also posted sometime yesterday. "WHO is investigating the circumstances surrounding the breach," according to the organization's note. Maybe this is the beginning of a movement of a bunch of people who hate embargoes as much as I do, but have more courage. But I doubt it -- that would require not agreeing to embargoes in the first place.

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