Thursday, July 21, 2011

AP enlarges its linking credits

The AP is further joining the link economy with the memo from senior managing editor Mike Oreskes that when one of the cooperative's stories is based substantially on an AP member's reporting, the AP will henceforth link directly to the story, not just to the other newsroom's home page. (Paid Content, Nieman Lab)

This is a good thing if it gets members also thinking about their need to do the same thing - link more to their sources of information.

I'm not holding my breath, however, as noted in several other posts on this topic (hit the "linking" label below).

And as Andrew Phelps at Neiman notes, several media sites don't appear to be able to handle the code (sigh), showing me once again that it's the technology and vendors that are holding the industry back as much as anything.

Oreskes' memo, however, also shows the difficulty of trying to be too specific in policies on these things instead of just going ahead and linking frequently, as the rest of the Web does. For instance, if the story is mostly from one member, link; do that even if you do more reporting. But if it's from two or more don't link or if you've done substantial additional reporting .... sheesh.

I have a better idea. If you base a story on someone else's reporting, even if it was just the kernel for the idea, link to it. If you are unsure, link to it. It solves so many issues.

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At 8/5/11, 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should a member get a link if they've done a lousy story that needed substantial additional reporting?

At 8/5/11, 3:46 AM, Blogger Doug said...

Because the member still provided the kernel of the story.

Sure, if you've absolutely, totally and completely re-reported it, OK.

But even on this blog, when I do substantial additional work, I credit back to the original at least for having the first word. Plus, that member may do more work on the story and it's a service that lets me as a reader decide if I want to try to follow that.


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