But I also pointed out that when I respect an embargo and get scooped by TechCrunch breaking it, I don't think that having an embargo is a bad thing; I think that briefing an outlet that says it doesn't respect embargoes under embargo in the first place is a foolish thing - and that continuing to brief them under future embargoes shows disrepect for everyone who does honour embargoes. And today I noticed that the next step is to reward them for breaking so many embargoes by giving them an interview with Steve Ballmer. Yes, that makes me feel that it doesn't matter if you break the rules as long as you're big enough not to have to follow them.
I've never broken an NDA. If an editor asked me to, I'd be uncomfortable because to me, an embargo is a contract I've made. But if the outlets that break embargoes are going to get the traffic for breaking the news and access to big-name interviews because they have the traffic, it makes me feel rather the dinosaur for having that kind of moral code. Yes, I'm sure we get access to spokespeople and stories we wouldn't get if we did break embargoes - but we were last offered an interview with Steve Ballmer the week he flew to Europe to negotiate with the EU (and as it happened, the day he flew to Europe, making it rather a shame that sbisson was in Las Vegas). I like embargoes. I like considered, well-researched journalism. But I like fairness and respect too.