In case you missed it, a journalist was barred from attending the 2012 European Society of Cardiology scientific sessions because a story was published before the designated embargo time. Quite a story, eh?
The idea that there is a little secret society of priveledged individuals and institutions get to have a jump on results so a nice fluffy press piece can be released simultaneously to the electronic world to increase journal's impact factor (and people's stock portfolios with insider information) has always made my stomach turn. There are big problems with the impact factor's influence on scientific research these days. Increasingly, doctors are left to ask if these studies are about science or is our science behind these studies really about the stock market?
Why shouldn't physicians and scientists be able to pour over the raw data and draw their own conclusions without the help of a purified press release? Why should journalists get access to this data for free when doctors pay for subscriptions to obtain the same content. Might doctors add more sustance to an analysis of the data?
But then again, what doctors might say may not be so good for the stock price.