Links provide “reason to believe a report”

Link transparencyMaking its Twitter rounds this weekend is a blog post by Dave Weinberger that proclaims transparency is the new objectivity.

“Transparency prospers in a linked medium,” Weinberger says. Within today’s “Age of Links” Weinberg explains how transparency provides more reasons for readers to believe what is written in a web story.

Transparency puts within the report itself a way for us to see what assumptions and values may have shaped it, and lets us see the arguments that the report resolved one way and not another. Transparency — the embedded ability to see through the published draft — often gives us more reason to believe a report than the claim of objectivity did.

Weinberger’s post inspired me to dig through some old links and find a few more quotes about what links can add to journalism:

Credit and credibility: “Attribution hyperlinks provide readers with the opportunity to delve into original source information, at a deeper level than the writer provided in his or her article. That not only rewards the curious reader, it helps a writer and his or her news organization build credibility with a skeptical audience”

Standard versus web: “The standard journalistic technique for providing context and support for assertions is to quote sources, but on the web, the ‘link journalism approach’ is to link to other actual reporting.”

Value networks: “When you add links to a page, you tell a story. You build networks of value.”

Trust relationship: “I believe link journalism is critical to building our own credibility and to establish that “trust” relationship with the reader.” [This one is actually a comment left on a recent blog post.]

The composite image in this post was created from modified versions of Links by Ruby Gold and kodachrome transparency by Fay Ratta, as found on Flickr.