Don’t tell us about Kristen’s MySpace page, link to it

By Steve Outing

It’s beginning to feel like we’re getting somewhere on the issue of mainstream news websites linking outside themselves. Yesterday in a story about Elliot Spitzer’s alleged call-girl hook-up, “Kristen” (aka, Ashley Youmans, aka Ashley Alexandra Dupré), the Times linked to her MySpace page. Hurray!

Linking offsite is a no-brainer for Internet native publishers. But it’s taken a while for mainstream publishers to come around. Perhaps the tide has turned?

There’s also the issue of linking to controversial websites. I noticed yesterday that a story in the Huffington Post about prostitution provided links to two of the biggest legal brothels in Nevada, the Kit Kat Guest Ranch and the Bunny Ranch. Both those websites feature partially nude photos of the ranches’ “girls.” I doubt that NYTimes.com would publish those links.

But I’ve long thought that if a link is particularly newsworthy, it should be made even if highly controversial. Online users only need click over to Google to find a controversial site in a few seconds anyway. I’d rather see news site provide the link, possibly with an intermediary warning page about what the viewer is about to see. Serve the readers; don’t make them jump through unnecessary hoops.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

One Response to "Don’t tell us about Kristen’s MySpace page, link to it"

  1. mary
    mary 9 years ago .Reply

    I am not trying to be negative about the situation with the newspaper classifieds, but I think it really seems so far out for newspapers to ever make a come back to catch up to what the internet has taken from it. Its kind of like a watch in the sense that when cell phones came out…people shifted away from wearing them. Now most kids wouldnt think twice about having watch when they can have phone (not the most equivalent analogy) Newspapers have a lot of lost ground to catch up on overall through. However…when you do figure out how to reinvent the game (so to speak) you will have it made. It will be one amazing accomplishment. i have read reiventingclassifieds and am curious to what happens next. unfortunately I have no good ideas for you on this…just that I will be a spectator!

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