Media Moves

Labor Department releases data early

August 10, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

The Department of Labor on Thursday released its closely watched weekly jobless report at least five minutes early on its website, ahead of its embargo release time for business reportrs, reports Geoffrey Rogow and Stephen L. Bernard of Dow Jones Newswires.

Rogow and Bernard writes, “Each week, the Labor Department releases its weekly jobless report at 8:30 a.m. EDT from a news ‘lockup,’ a gathering of journalists from more than a dozen accredited news agencies, including News Corp. unit Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire. Some organizations maintain specialized hardware and software that allow them to transmit the data to subscribers as soon as figures are released.

“The early data release comes just one month before the Labor Department is set to initiate a series of changes to its data-release practices. Among the changes starting in September, all equipment used by news organizations at the lockup must be shipped directly from the manufacturer or a reseller to the Labor Department.

“As part of the changes to its data release, the Labor Department was planning to start posting the data to its website at the same time it allowed journalists to publish the data. In the past, there had been a slight delay before the data were released online.

“It was unclear whether that change had already gone into effect.

“The changes to the data release were a step back from a more-sweeping set of adjustments initially proposed. Those changes met criticism from some journalists and lawmakers, who said the adjustments risked introducing errors into reporting the data, among other objections.”

Read more here.

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