Newspapers & Links

Techdirt looks inside the debate that many old media companies go through when moving online:

“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.”

Perhaps this is where the editorial & business divide is most apparent. It seems that one side or the other is always unconvinced, then blames the other.