BBC science correspondent for the West Midlands David Gregory braves a ‘them and us’ post, blaming Twitter and bloggers for leaking the ‘water on the moon’ story ahead, hold your breath, of the embargo.
Journalists had been tipped off about the moon water announcement ahead of NASA’s big press conference by the journal Science, while another NASA release named the scientists taking part. With that information the bloggers predicted the scoop, leaving the 2000 chosen journalists behind.
Then, Gregory says the story was reported in the mainstream press in India, and picked up by the Times’ Delhi correspondent.
“Eventually the journal Science sees the cat is out of the bag, drop the embargo at 22.57 our time last night and all the British science journalists who’ve obeyed the embargo wake up to find they’ve missed one of the biggest days for the moon since we walked on it.”
Despite the headline, Gregory is not arguing that the embargo should be protected. In fact he says, the system is not working:
“[I]n these days of a global, 24-hour news media the process appears to be broken. You can’t shut up bloggers and you can’t shut down Twitter. The only thing that can go is the embargo system itself.”
Gregory doesn’t link to the blogger or Twitter rumours and cites the Indian press as the place the story went mainstream: does anyone know where it first broke online?