AP Finally Learns That On The Internet, You Can Link To Other Sites

from the about-time dept

Well, look at that. The Associated Press has reached 1993 or so, and realized that they can (and probably should) link to other sites when reporting on a story that those other sites reported first. Of course, they're still learning some of HTML's features, such as the idea that you can link to actual words in a story. Instead, they'll be putting the links (via Bitly) in parentheses right after they cite the source.
Pickups will now include a parenthetical bit.ly link to the original story, in addition to the credit. So in the fireworks story, you might see: “According to the Boston Globe report (http://bit.ly/pDHZ6h)...” The change will be most noticeable on state wires, where pickups are common.
And, of course, they're still working out the kinks. Apparently, some of the tests didn't show up as links, but instead showed the full HTML text for a link (i.e., <a href="...">). Oops. Still, we welcome the Associated Press to the world wide web. Look around, you might enjoy it. Just, please, skip over the blink tag phase.

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  1. icon
    halley (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: First of none?

    Using bit.ly has two benefits: short to type, and analytics.

    Mike giggles about AP not knowing how to do html links, but it looks to me like there is a reason to the madness here. Links short enough to type is not a factor for online usage, but if it's put into print, you can't do the HTML tags. They could do some cute filtering to make the print-shows-URL version from the HTML original, but to be honest, this also serves the distinction between an author's story and the editor's role. The parenthetical link is handled the same way an Editorial Note is handled: minimize changes to the article author's content while offering additional context information.

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