In 24-hour news cycle, the public becomes aware of news items instantaneously. At the same time, within the context of 24-hour news, it become increasing difficult to protect those who need to remain out of the spotlight.
Recently, the focus has been on war correspondents for news organizations - those who get kidnapped in areas such as Somalia and Afghanistan. After an abduction, most news organizations request an embargo on all information out of a given country if one of their staff has been kidnapped, as means of protection.
A recent example was the abduction of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter, Mellissa Fung in Afghanistan. CBC requested an information embargo from all Western media outlets operating in the country. CBC's reason was to protect Fung and secure her release - any information released would undermine their attempts to rescue her, they claimed. The embargo endured for four weeks.
Blake Lambert questions whether this is the right decision. He believes that the public has the right to know what is going on, whether or not someone has been abducted. Lambert also sees the blackouts as political moves that "undermine journalism and subvert the democratic process."
In addition, Lambert feels that the current system is hypocritical because it does not protect freelancers - CBC did not hesitate to report on the abductions of two of their freelancers in Somalia and Pakistan.