Where’s the link?

foley.jpgThe Sarasota Herald-Tribune published a whopper of a story today, revealing the identity of the priest who says he had an inappropriate relationship with a young, now-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley.

As the national media picked up the story, it’s appalling that hardly anyone has actually linked to the Herald-Tribune‘s story.

A WashingtonPost.com story refers to the Herald-Tribune six times in different ways without a link. But I’m picking on the Post since it’s a staff-created story. CNN, MSNBC, the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, ABC News and Yahoo! News are all guilty as well. Granted, some of these stories are automatically generated by AP, sans link. Still, that’s a pretty important link.

And to add insult to injury, Google News’s algorithm ranks the Herald-Tribune story as the 10th most-important story (at least when I checked at 11:20 a.m.).

I’m far from the first to say it, but we should really be re-examining our linking practices. Saying “so-and-so reported” without the link –especially on such a big story– just doesn’t make sense online, nor is it fair.

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's Sun-Sentinel.com and OrlandoSentinel.com. Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.

2 thoughts on “Where’s the link?”

  1. Ryan,
    Thanks for fighting this battle.
    I view the “missing links” issue as both an ethical failure and a flawed business tactic. It’s beyond me why so many publications fall short in this area.

  2. It seems that a combination of thick-headedness and lack of attention to detail are at fault in situations like this. If an AP story is generated by the wire feed automatically, are producers going to duplicate the story just to put in a link?

    Also, one could make an argument to not link to a direct competitor. But in this case, I’m sure the big national sites are not going to be losing readers to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

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