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Auntie references her relatives
September 30, 2004 6:41 AM   Subscribe

The BBC News website has introduced links to other news sites' articles that relate to the stories they cover. Google News is based around a similar premise, but as far as I know the BBC is the first major news organization to link to articles not written by themselves.

A good example of this in action is the current headline article about today's bombings in Iraq (look in the right sidebar). Only the top stories seem to have this feature activated, but hopefully (to me at least) it will spread through the site with time.
posted by lowlife (9 comments total)

 
Excellent idea, but it hurts the brand, no? It's incredibly telling to see the difference in language and tone from one site's coverage of the same event to another.
posted by amberglow at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2004


I reckon the main reason for this is to protect their online presence, rather than diluting the brand.

Some people in the UK are making a bit of noise about how it is anti-competitive for the BBC to operate in such a way online. People pay licence fees for the TV and radio service but anyone (not just licence holders) can view the website.

Personally I think it (and BBC 4) are the only good reasons for paying my fee.
posted by twistedonion at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2004


The reason I thought this was worth posting is that it shows (in my view at least) that the Beeb recognises that it's not the only source of news on the web. Most sites want to keep you in their reality distortion field for as long as possible.

The BBC doesn't have any advertising on their site, so it doesn't "cost" them anything to have links to other news sites. In a way, it empowers their brand because it shows they aren't scared of having their reporting compared to that done by others. Maybe the "sexed-up" incident gave them pause.
posted by lowlife at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2004


It's a nice idea, but I'd like to see it extended to linking to sites apart from other mainstream news sources. A number of bloggers (me included) are constantly griping about stupidities in the BBC website's science coverage. You really only get critique or alternative views on blogs, as other news sources generally copy the faulty details from the BBC.
posted by raygirvan at 9:52 AM on September 30, 2004


I'd like to see it extended to linking to sites apart from other mainstream news sources.

Er, potentially, but where does one draw the line? Do we really want links to LGF's interpretation of I/P reportage? They too are constantly griping about stupidities in the BBC website's [international relations] coverage."

Also, I have to agree with twistedonion and lowlife
posted by dmt at 10:17 AM on September 30, 2004


Excellent idea, but it hurts the brand, no?

Since the BBC is committed to putting it's Archives online for free, and using an open source realplayer alternative, in a few years time the brand image will be almost impossible to dilute.

The BBC is something us Brits should be proud of, after all, we paid for it.

feel free to thank me anytime you wish
posted by fullerine at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2004


Well, uh, yes; it'll take a while of seeing it working to convince me of the BBC's commitment to showing alternative views (obviously, even among mainstream media, there's going to be a slant governed by what sites Newstracker is picking its feeds from).

But as to the blogs idea, I was thinking of something like a link to Technorati NewsTalk.
posted by raygirvan at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2004


today's bombings in Iraq

Fuck.
posted by homunculus at 11:03 AM on September 30, 2004


News.com Extra seems to fit, though limited to tech related materials.
posted by billsaysthis at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2004


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