Missing links

screen grab of News NowAggregator site News Now has revealed a few more details of the legal battle it faces against the major daily and local UK newspapers over its linking.

In a Q&A format (link opens hew window) it claims News International objects completely to any linking to its stories, while others want payment for including those links.

We should all defend News Now’s right to use headlines and links.

Links are good

The traditional journalist sees a story in a rival, finds the original source, reworks it and rewrites their own version, without ever admitting they saw it first somewhere else.

The blogger puts a link to the original story and comments on it. It is an example where blogger ethics beat the journalist’s.

The links drive traffic to the original’s site. That is why so many sites ask readers to use social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Delicious to link to their stories. The Telegraph even promotes Fark, a site for non-stories (the Telegraph knows its worth?).

Not linking is bad

After I first flagged up News Now’s problems at 9.57m on 21 October, I had an email exchange with John Thompson of Journalism.co.uk, which had been referring to my blog, about making my blog one of their recommended sites.

Thompson put me in touch with Judith Townsend mid afternoon, who agreed to look at my blog, and later that day Journalism.co.uk ran the story: Aggregator NewsNow faces legal pressure from newspapers for linking (link opens new window).

Paid Content saw that story and followed up on 23 October with News Aggregator Calls On Newspapers To End Legal Action (link opens new window).

Discussion boards

Of course, Paid Content could have got the story from the freelance discussion boards. Freelancjournalism.com started talking about it on 22 October, in a discussion started by Tracey Shorrock of New Media Intelligence. Except that Paid Content admits it saw it on Jouranalism.co.uk.

What no links?

With people not linking to where they first saw the story, old fashioned journalism (contacting and asking) is required. I will now ask.

Links from this story (all open new widows)

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