Catch and kill

News media manipulation / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catch and kill is a surreptitious technique employed by newspapers and media outlets to prevent an individual from publicly revealing information damaging to a third party.

Using a legally enforceable non-disclosure agreement, the tabloid purports to buy exclusive rights to "catch" the damaging story from the individual, but then "kills" the story for the benefit of the third party by preventing it from ever being published. The individual with the information frequently does not realize that the tabloid intends to suppress the individual's story instead of publishing it. The practice is technically distinct from using hush money, in which the individual is bribed by the third party to intentionally conceal the damaging information, but identical for all practical intents and purposes.

The National Enquirer and its parent company American Media, Inc. have attracted attention for using the practice.[1][2]

It may also refer to the practice of buying up competitors to eliminate competition and maintain a monopoly or oligopoly,[3][4] or as an antonym to catch-and-release, in hunting wildlife.[5]