It’s the internet – so link to each other

Well done to Russell Brown over at Public Address (I said they write well) for breaking the story on the Kids Can Stand Tall debacle. It’s a good scoop after some digging into the history of the Telethon beneficiary. I won’t repeat it here – but I will get grumpy instead.

I found Russell’s post after reading an article on Fairfacts*, which linked me to an article on Stuff. Neither the Fairfacts nor the Stuff article linked to Russell’s original article.

Both should know better.

Shame on you Fairfacts:

(and I also couldn’t leave a comment using either Google or WordPress logins)

Shame on you Stuff:

and well done Russell.

Published by Lance Wiggs


10 replies on “It’s the internet – so link to each other”

  1. I’d turn it the other way round = Fairacts is a blogger, so he should know better – it’s his ecosystem.

    Fairfax are a news organisation with a CMS that’s tough to use, lots of deadlines and a destination website that gets traffic regardless of links. Not linking out is, of course, very short term thinking.

    It will be interesting to see whether either respond.


  2. True – Fairfacts probably read it on Stuff and was too lazy to track down the original source (as it wasn’t linked from Stuff) so just linked to Stuff.

    I guess the other issue is : who populates the pages on Stuff with content ? Is it the original author or a keyboard jockey copying and pasting under editorial instruction ?


  3. Many, many times I got grumpy on why blogs repeat, repeat, repeat, link to the latest repeater but never to the original poster.

    I’ve seen Digg links to a blog that was probably fifth on the chain – but no Digg links to the original scoop.

    Same with newspapers. Most New Zealand MSM won’t link to you. Ever. They don’t do it. A bunch of people who don’t get the Internet.


  4. The strangest thing about people being mean (or even anally retentive) about giving links away is that it costs them nothing.

    On the other hand it provides a service to the reader – which is the sign of professionalism – and it does favours for people at the other end.

    You’ve got to wonder about the mental health of people who aren’t willing to give links away.


  5. Mauricio is right and the “MSM” find it very hard/impossible to credit. When I broke a story about GTA IV R18 being censored for the NZ market and then brought in independently by a private individual/seller, I let a gaming writer in the MSM know.

    He thanked me privately and then asked (yes – he had to ask) if he should credit my original story.


  6. Sorry, but I think you need to be clear here.

    “Not linking” is NOT the same as “not crediting”.

    One is a matter of courtesy, the other infers plagiarism, which is something that MSM reporting stay well clear of.


    1. @kekl well in my case neither happened except as an afterthought – the fact that one had to ask if there should be any link/credit made in the article was telling enough.


  7. The MSM in general are pretty hopeless about linking to their sources, blogs or otherwise. I guess it’s partly because the stories are written to be used in both print and online, and partly because if they started doing it for some stories they’d probably end up with even more complaints from anyone who wasn’t linked to, and the economic benefit of linking to everyone appropriatel is probably far from obvious to the bean counters ultimately calling the shots.

    As to Fairfacts, from a quick glance the blog looks to be neither fair nor particularly factual. Hence I suggest the appropriate punishment for this transgression of blogger etiquette would be to cut it from your RSS feeds!


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