Now it's true that TechCrunch says death to the embargo from a very different perspective. But the conclusion is the same.
The TechCrunch death-to-embargoes is another example of the growing tension between journalists and publicists (hacks vs. flacks). I've been observing online the growing frustration on both sides (latest installment: PR and the fine art of not being crazy and BadPitch), and while most don't seem to care about it, I think it's fairly obvious what's causing the tension:
- Media companies are going through the worst down cycle since 1987, and perhaps the worst time since the 1930s. The advertising-supported business model no longer works.
- Traditional media is also in the midst of seismic changes. We're moving to an online-only model for most newspapers and magazines -- and traditional media doesn't like it. Neither do most PR agencies because clients still want national print coverage, and don't consider online media to be important/worthwhile.
- PR agencies can't agree on metrics for online media so can't merchandise their success the way they could with circulation numbers.
- Online media distinctly works in new ways from traditional media -- and the new rules, which are evolving and not set in stone yet -- are frustrating both hacks and flacks because neither side "gets it" right now. Both sides are operating on assumptions -- like embargoes, for example -- that don't make sense to the other party. (Embargoes, and the penalties for breaking them, used to be something both hacks and flacks understood. That's no longer true.)