Avoid non-disclosure agreements and be careful with embargoes.
We avoid non-disclosure agreements — contracts that would require us to withhold certain information — except in rare circumstances and with the approval of the appropriate senior manager (email Ethics). And as with any written agreement, we send non-disclosure agreements to our legal team for review (look for LegalAlert in the NPR internal email address book) before we sign them.
We, like other major news outlets, do often agree to “embargoes” on news. In such cases the information is not to be reported until an agreed-upon time in the near future. We reserve the right, however, to report the news if the embargo has been “broken” by another news outlet or if because of some development we judge that the public’s interest would best be served by disclosing the information now instead of later.
October 17, 2011