Hyperlinks: Simple but effective online journalism tools

Wikipedia is a ubiquitous website utilised by almost all online journalists, a service used so often it’s taken for granted.

Hyperlinks are in the same category; an obvious tool of the online journalism trade, but unequivocally essential nonetheless.

According to the online encyclopedia, the “hyperlink (or link) is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document.”

Wikipedia explains the technology was first widely used in the Gopher protocol from 1991, before it was eclipsed two years later by the Mosaic browser (which could handle Gopher links as well as HTML links).

The reason I’m talking about links is because of a story I stumbled upon on www.poynter.org during the week.

It was a telling reminder of the effectiveness of hyperlinks; in less than 100 words a ten-week summary of a major news event is comprehensively covered.

Here’s the article, by Julie Moos, titled “Timeline of Jonah Lehrer plagiarism, fabrication revelations.”

June 19: Jim Romenesko reported that Jonah Lehrer recycled material for a New Yorker story
June 19: Joe Coscarelli published additional examples of Lehrer recycling material in New Yorker blog posts
June 19: Jacob Silverman found examples of Lehrer recycling in stories for The New York Times
June 20: Edward Champion published a comprehensive catalog of Lehrer’s recycling
June 20: Lehrer apologized for recycling his own material
June 21: New Yorker editor David Remnick said, “…if he were making things up or appropriating other people’s work that’s one level of crime.”
July 30: Michael Moynihan revealed fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in Lehrer’s “Imagine”
July 30: Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker
August 3: Moynihan revealed plagiarism in “How We Decide”
August 7: Lehrer’s publisher said it was reviewing all of his books
August 10: Magician Teller said he didn’t say what was attributed to him in “Imagine”
August 15: Wired said Lehrer remained under contract
August 16: Wired said Lehrer had no current assignments
August 17: Milton Glaser said he didn’t say what was attributed to him in “Imagine”
August 31: Wired severed ties with Lehrer
Related: Complete coverage of Jonah Lehrer

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