Hyperlinks: another tool for your journalistic tool box

28 Feb

With online journalism comes unexplored areas of journalism. One of these areas is the world of hyperlinking. Including hyperlinks in on line articles has many advantages, like bringing readers more information, but it also has many disadvantages. When using hyperlinks, journalists have to be very careful how they use them.

Including links provide readers with more background information on the topic at hand. This is particularly useful when updating an old article with new information. Instead of trying to recap everything that has happened in the situation so far, you can just link readers back to past stories. Link also provide more depth in an article. Instead of having to be written in a linear fashion, articles online can be written in a web form. Just because a story is short, doesn’t mean it’s shallow. Hyperlinks help to keep stories short and simple while also supplying sufficient background information. Hyperlinks can also help solve the short attention span problem journalists run into with online journalism. Instead of just staring at a giant block of text, journalism now becomes more interactive and entertaining. It has the potential to hold the reader’s attention span for a longer period of time.

Another positive attribute of including links in online stories is that it allows journalists to show the readers both sides of a controversial topic. It’s important to keep your story bias free as a journalist so sometimes it becomes difficult to properly shine light on both sides of certain issuers. Links to other article or sites can help solve this problem without having to make your article confusing and lengthy.

On the other hand, journalists have to be very careful when using links. They can make a story confusing and readers often don’t click on every link in your article. Or if readers do click on every link, it’s likely they will be led off on a tangent through the Internet and forget to come back to where they started, your article, to finish reading.

Most importantly, journalists need to be extremely careful they know what they’re linking to. Hyperlinks should not be thrown haphazardly through an article, but instead carefully read and thought through.It looks sloppy and doesn’t add to the reader’s experience. Some articles may not be what they sound like and may confuse readers more. Some news organizations use a computer to automatically form links whenever an address is typed in. This is very dangerous, as the Miami Herald learned the hard way. Overall, when using links, remember to check them thoroughly and keep your article clean.

As journalists, we need to get over the idea that by linking to other organizations, we’re going to send our readers to competitors. We should be too proud to use each other for help. We all are working together to bring the readers accurate and full news. Linking to each other helps us do our job fully. Even though some organizations don’t encourage hyperlinks– in fact some discourage it –we should embrace the tool to enhance our articles.

Team Dossier

Sara Solano

For Sara, there was a lot of links on a big variety of topics about her. She has a website, a twitter and videos on youtube. I had to rake through all of these to find the pieces that are really interesting and relevant. I also specified Gainesville to narrow down my search.






Marissa Prieto

For Marissa, I didn’t even specify Gainesville and I found a lot less on her. She doesn’t have as much of an online presence as Sara. Or she doesn’t have such an accessible online presence. I did find that Marissa also had a blog that I could find by just searching her name. When I looked into this blog, I found this was actually her blog for JOU4202.





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