I once witnessed senior editors on sentry duty beside newsroom fax machines.
The paper had an exclusive and was taking every precaution to prevent the story leaking to rivals.
That was ten years ago and BI (before internet). These days, newspapers with online editions face a dilemma with an exclusive.
If they break it online, they miss out on the potential lift in print sales. If they delay and hold for the print edition, they could get scooped.
And that's what happened last Thursday evening when, for the first time, British Sunday The Observer broke an exclusive news story on its website.
'Turkey carcasses from Hungary linked to UK bird flu outbreak' ran the headine, posted at 7.30pm.
The Observer website editor, Susan Smillie, said: "It seems crazy not to take advantage of it if the story won't hold and there's huge public interest".
There's a valuable lesson there for newspapers that treat their online editions as an afterthought.