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 distinct from using hush money, in which the individual is bribed by the third party to intentionally conceal the damaging information.
Instances where newspapers have been accused of using catch and kill include: