The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, which represents 3,000 business and financial journalists in North America, is deeply concerned by the lack of a clear explanation behind an apparent decision by DOL to ban all electronic devices in the lockups.  This limits journalists’ ability to produce immediate, complete available-to-all reporting on government releases of economic data.

Such a move would impede quality journalism and serve to give an information advantage to high-frequency traders with sophisticated algorithms capable of getting the data from government websites ahead of other investors and members of the public. These are some of the very concerns that DOL said it wanted to address the last time it attempted to restrict lockups in 2012 – a move it ultimately abandoned as an intrusion on the media’s First Amendment rights.

SABEW calls on, and would welcome discussions with, representatives of the DOL and the Trump administration to listen to the rationale behind their decision-making in order to address concerns in mutually satisfactory ways, without resorting to such an abrupt change that would effectively impede the flow of important information to the public.