Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hyperlinks: The Future of Journalism?

A mate and I were recently discussing the enormous increase in the use of hyperlinks in online media (I know - we're awesome, right?!).  It seems that hyperlinks are no longer reserved for single words.  These days, they are used across whole sentences. Is it just me, or is the overuse of hyperlinks getting a little ridiculous

With cuts being made to editorial jobs in newspapers all over the world, it seems that the trend in online media is for news articles to contain a single topic sentence describing the general situation, followed by a bunch of links to the opinions of other people on that topic.  Check out this effort from The Economist:

"Our health-care correspondent sums up the questions before the court and the arguments being made, and says the case could transform the power of the federal government. M.S. explains why the slippery-slope arguments against Obamacare don't make much sense. W.W. says forced business between taxpayers and private companies is forced business whether or not government touches the money. Donald Berwick, the former administrator of Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, explains what might happen if some or all of Obamacare is repealed. Our correspondent adds to those thoughts. And Lexington says that even if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, there could be a silver lining for the president."

Perhaps in the future the news will just end up being a single sentence hyperlinked to google - ie 'There is a war in Syria' - followed by a final disclaimer saying: ‘We can no longer afford to pay our journalists.  The news is out there somewhere.  Please figure it out yourself’.

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