Link Journalism

For my section of the presentation I looked at an article on the guardian site:

This article introduced the ‘internet manifesto’, and also included hyperlinks throughout the piece. These other articles on the guardian site, include a piece by Jeff Jarvis ( and others including an interview with the ever so popular Rupert Murdoch ( and his 2009 belief that news would be no longer free online.


List of links to other articles within the main Guardian piece


The vast majority of these links take you to other sections of the Guardian website. There are links to the New York Times (that also include links to the New York Times website), some work by Jeff Jarvis (a Guardian columnist), a blog by Cory Doctorow and a piece by Clay Shirky.

I found it interesting that the Guardian decided to link outside their own website, especially when they linked to the New York Times. It raised an important question in my mind: Is it ok to link to outside sites? I raised this at the end of our presentation and it got a good response from the majority of the class. It seems that most believed that linking to other sources of information added creditability to your work, however, people where unsure if it was a good idea to link to rival competitors.


As soon as it came out, it was spread all over the net: 15 German journalists and bloggers wrote an “Internet Manifesto” on how journalism works today. Shortly after it was announced online, their server went offline. The reaction was overwhelming.




Lobo fixing the net
Image: ddp

Sascha Lobo was instrumental in the construction of the manifesto and regularly attends conferences to speak about the internet and the problems it creates and solves. He is also has a strong presence on Twitter and on YouTube, unfortunately it appears to be all in German.

The Guardian claim that their “17 declarations on the future of journalism in the age of the internet have been discussed worldwide”


The following quotes come from Jarvis’s blog site  and capture his frustration at the lack of information on offer throughout some news formats.
“What I want from news and technology companies is a platform that enables us in the community to share our knowledge. I want them to provide an opportunity for — or shame — shame town officials, utility companies, transit officials, as well as local businesses — even gas stations — into using such a platform to share the data they have and invite residents to add to and improve that knowledge. I do not expect the journalists to be able to gather all that information.”
“In the words of Emily Bell, Clay Shirky, and Chris Anderson in their new tome, Post-Industrial Journalism, I expect the journalist to move up the value chain. Or in my words, I want the journalist to add value, to ask and answer the questions that aren’t already known. Do what you do best and link to — or build a platform for — the rest.”
Links are the key

Links are the key
Image: Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis was responding to what he saw where the failings of newspapers and some internet sites to let the citizens in the line of hurricane Sandy know important pieces of information. For example, what areas where going to experience power cuts and for how long and places where people could get gas for cars etc. He also stated in his piece how the newspaper told him nothing new, instead filled their pages with old news.

This is the area that Jarvis wants to see change; he wants journalists to lift their game. He believes it is no longer acceptable, or good enough to pass on the news. Journalists working online now have the tools to open up their articles to vast amounts of information by linking to other sources. He argues that people are so well equipped to search for information that online journalism must embrace the culture of link journalism or risk becoming obsolete.


They believe that the internet improves journalism if the media adapt their working methods to today’s technological reality, “instead of ignoring or challenging it”

Jeff Jarvis explains why the manifesto is important for people, media groups to understand and not to fear.

“When you see change coming, there are three ways to respond,” explains Jeff Jarvis. “One is to ignore it, one is to try to stop it and the third is to find the opportunity in it. But the innovators are overheard. We see this all the time: big media is giving big media attention. So the manifesto is important, because when some of the innovators come together, it is the only way that they get attention.”

The following information comes from:

I went through the manifesto and put together what I felt where the most important aspects of each section in relation to our course.



 The Internet is different

The media must adapt their work methods to today’s technological reality instead of ignoring or challenging it. It is their duty to develop the best possible form of journalism based on the available technology.

The Internet is a pocket-sized media empire.

Journalism’s self-conception is, fortunately, being bereft of its gate keeping function. All that remains is the journalistic quality through which journalism distinguishes itself from mere publication.

The Internet is our society (is the Internet)  Web-based platforms like social networks, Wikipedia or YouTube have become a part of everyday life for the majority of people in the western world.

The freedom of the Internet is inviolable

Regardless of how it is done, blocking access to the Internet endangers the free flow of information and corrupts our fundamental right to a self-determined level of information.

The internet is the victory of information

Today every citizen can set up her own personal news filter while search engines tap into a wealth of information of a magnitude never before known. Individuals can now inform themselves better than ever.

The Internet changes, improves journalism

Through the Internet, journalism can fulfil its socio-educational role in a new way. This includes presenting information as an ever-changing, continual process; the forfeiture of print media’s inalterability is a benefit.

The net requires networking

Links are connections. We know each other through links. Those who do not use them exclude themselves from social discourse. This also holds for the websites of traditional media companies.

Links reward, citations adorn

References through links and citations — especially including those made without any consent of or even remuneration of the originator make the very culture of networked social discourse possible in the first place. They are by all means worthy of protection.

The internet is the new venue for political discourse

Transferring the political discussion from traditional media to the internet and expanding on this discussion by involving the active participation of the public is one of journalism’s new tasks.

Today’s freedom of the press means freedom of opinion

Qualitatively speaking, no differentiation should be made between paid and unpaid journalism, but rather, between good and poor journalism.

 More is more – there is no such thing as too much information

Pamphleteers, encyclopaedists and journalists proved that more information leads to more freedom, both for the individual as well as society as a whole. To this day, nothing has changed in this respect.

Tradition is not a business model

Journalism needs open competition for the best refinancing solutions on the net, along with the courage to invest in the multifaceted implementation of these solutions.

Copyright becomes a civic duty on the internet

Copyright may not be abused as a lever to safeguard obsolete supply mechanisms and shut out new distribution models or license schemes. Ownership entails obligations.

The internet has many currencies

Journalistic online services financed through adverts offer content in exchange for a pull effect. Other forms of refinancing which are journalistically justifiable need to be forged and tested.

What’s on the net stays on the net

Journalism must take the development of information, its interpretation and errors into account, i.e., it must admit its mistakes and correct them in a transparent manner.

Quality remains the most important quality

Only those who are outstanding, credible and exceptional will gain a steady following in the long run. Users’ demands have increased. Journalism must fulfill them and abide by its own frequently formulated principles.

All for all

The internet makes it possible to communicate directly with those once known as recipients — readers, listeners and viewers — and to take advantage of their knowledge. It is not the ‘know-it-all’ journalists who are in demand, but those who communicate and investigate.