Newspapers Should Ask Google If Linking To Other Sites Is A Good Business
from the it-is dept
It's no secret that newspapers have had to be dragged kicking and screaming onto the internet. Many of their more ambitious online undertakings have simply been attempts to apply the old model of distribution to the digital space. And while some of their moves, like closing off access to archives, seem downright baffling, it's interesting to get the perspective from those operating inside newspapers. A reporter at a paper in Missouri writes to Poynter Online, discussing an internal debate that her newspaper had over whether to include external links to stories in other publications. Ultimately, the higher ups decided against it on the view that they might confuse readers, or imply some sort of free advertising for a competitor's content. Needless to say, this is the attitude that holds newspapers back. The ability to link to another source is what makes reading content online more dynamic than reading it on paper. And while some may see links as offering free publicity to another site, it's should be viewed as a way of making the originating site that much more useful to readers. What's funny about this debate is that newspapers won't hesitate to link elsewhere on a reporter's blog, as if somehow the ideas of good online journalism are totally different when done in blog format. Ultimately, newspapers need to realize that there's no contradiction in acknowledging useful content elsewhere and making their own sites valuable.