Some Thoughts on the “Link journalism” discussion

With my last post i added a “More on” section to my posts. This move was to some degree triggered by the discussion that was started by Scott Karp’s “Reinventing Journalism On The Web: Links As News, Links As Reporting“.

Here are some of my thoughts on this discussion:

  • Linking is THE essence of the web.
  • Transparency about the sources, as well as stimulating the readers to dig deeper and make up their own minds are the immediate are IMHO the two most important benefits for online journalsm. Hence it is a no brainer for me that links have to be a core part of ALL online articles (Note to self: check if there is ANY post on this blog without a link . If so, why is it there in the first place?
  • I know that linking that is actually adding value to an article is not easy and time-comsuming. But this IMHO is the core of online journalism. So if you’re not doing it you might consider stop writing online.
  • A thoughtfully and carefully edited collection of links, provides added value. It is preferrable to have some introductory text that provides some context (see transparency), but if there is a decision to be made to publish the collection of links without context and not publishing at all, i’m always in favor of publishing. Readers are intelligent persons. They might figure the context by themselves ;-)
  • I’m surprised that this kind of discussion is starting now in journalism, i thought this issue was resloverd at least a couple of years ago.

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