Monday, April 09, 2007

Using your Web brain

In a little squib on his "Morning Meeting" today, Poynter's Al Tompkins notes that the Boston Globe is "using its Web brain" by hosting on its own site numerous state and federal tax forms instead of linking to the IRS.

I do think this is smart. First, the forms are paid for by the taxpayers, so there is no copyright issue. Second, it prevents those occasional, but annoying, cases where the link won't work because the other server is down. (And, of course, that usually happens on the weekend when you have just settled in and ... AAARGH!)

It's been said before, but too many news organizations don't take advantage of the ability to serve up the public documents surrounding a story and don't think to ask a lot of private sources for permission. We should do more of that.

I do wish, however, that the Boston site, right at top, warned people the documents were in PDF format and that they might need to download Acrobat Reader.

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