I haven’t seen this news make the rounds on Twitter too much, but I think it’s huge: Beginning August 1, the Associated Press will link directly to stories cited in AP reports.
Pickups will now include a parenthetical bit.ly link to the original story, in addition to the credit. So in the fireworks story, you might see: “According to the Boston Globe report (http://bit.ly/pDHZ6h)…” The change will be most noticeable on state wires, where pickups are common.
Anyone who has read my site knows that AP’s current method of linking — dropping the home page URL of whatever site’s story was cited in the AP report — drives me insane, as it should any journalist. Using a link to a website’s home page as a citation is about as useful as saying “…according to a book I got at the local library” in a term paper. It leaves the reader to fend for himself in terms of digging deeper into the story — stupid, especially when it’s coming from a news organization which exists to inform people.
But enough about why the old way is bad. Bravo to the AP for modernizing itself. I hope that it will continue to modernize and position itself as an example to the news outlets that subscribe to it.
By the way, as long as I’m talking about giving credit, I should mention that this news nugget came via Martha Kang, who runs an excellent Twitter account.