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Embargo

The purpose of an embargo is to enable stakeholders to cooperate with each other regarding the release of information to the public. For example, if a government official tells a news agency about an upcoming announcement, then an embargo can both give the agency time to prepare reports and ensure that those reports will not be released before the official is prepared to make a public announcements. Such arrangements are mutually beneficial. 

History of the term

When you hear the word embargo, you probably think of international politics. But do you know what the term means within a literary context? Within an intellectual context, the term embargo is primarily used within the discipline of journalism. An embargo is when an agreement is reached between stakeholders that news about a given subject will not be made public until certain specified conditions have been met. 

Learning to use embargo in a sentence

For your reference, here are a few examples of the term embargo being used within the context of real sentences. 

"The government official told the press that although they could begin preparing reports on the new policy initiative, an embargo was to be in effect until the official himself was ready to reveal the initiative to the public."

"Because the given news organization broke a previous embargo, stakeholders in the project were now unwilling to provide any further information to the organization; essentially, it was felt that the organization could no longer be trusted." 

"The news agency issued a strong apology for the fact that the embargo had accidentally been breached, and they promised to revise internal communication protocols in order to ensure that such a thing would not happen again. 

In case you are still a little confused about the meaning of the term embargo, here are a couple rules you can follow when making use of it. 

  1. An embargo refers to a systematic barrier against the communication of information; you can think of it as a "wall" that is supposed to stop information from reaching the public earlier than intended by relevant stakeholders. When a news agency respects an embargo, they essentially agree to keep information from the public in this way. 
  2. It is important to not confuse embargo with censorship. The point of an embargo is not that the public is never supposed to receive the relevant information; rather, it is simply a way for stakeholders to coordinate their efforts in order to ensure that communication takes place in a proper and effective way. 

Journalistic writing

The embargo within the context of journalism can best be understood a tool for enhancing the quality of communication. Essentially, a stakeholder gives the news agency information, on the grounds that the agency will respect the embargo; and on the other hand, the news agency can prepare reports ahead of time, so that they can release those events in conjunction with the formal announcement by the stakeholder, as opposed to being caught off guard and needing to scramble to put together reports. 

Trust is a fundamentally important concept when it comes to the embargo. The stakeholder provides the news agency with information, on the grounds of the belief that the agency will in fact respect the embargo. What the agency gets in return is the advance notice. Both the stakeholder and the agency benefit from the embargo: the stakeholder because he will be appropriately covered by news when the time comes, and the agency because they can get to work preparing their reports. Likewise, breach of the embargo would have strong negative consequences for both the stakeholder and the agency. 

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