Sunday, May 25, 2008

New York Times Embraces Link Journalism

According to Scott Karp from Publishing 2.0The New York Times is increasingly embracing link journalism - the idea that online journalism should heavily rely on one of the Web's main attributes, hyperlinking, to increase a story's editorial value.

Karp has been grappling with the idea of link journalism for some time (see his posts here).

The Times' Lede blog makes intensive use of 'link journalism'. In one of its posts, it links back to several external sources including the Wall Street JournalBloomberg NewsWashington Monthly,Washington PostUSA Today, and an independent blogger.

But according to Karp, 'link journalism' extends far beyond the simple act of hyperlinking: 

The Lede's posting "isn't just lazily linking to these stories -- he's read them, compared them, identified shortcomings, extracted key facts and issues, and connected the dots.

"In a traditional newspaper article, all of these facts and analysis would have been synthesized, but the reader wouldn't have had the opportunity to read for themselves the source material. This post does what journalism is supposed to do -- empower people with facts, understanding, and perspective about important issues."

The challenge for newspapers and their websites is to strike a balance, between remaining synthesizers of a wide mass of information (because consumers still expect journalists and editors to do so), while also becoming aggregators and relay points for news consumers who may want to access more in-depth sources on particular topics.

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