How to Link

Links are the life blood of your online publication. They generate traffic, readers, reputation, and legitimacy.

James Foust, author of the textbook Online Journalism, writes that “links are second only to text in their ability to convey information and meaning to the user.” But anyone can create a Web page with a list of links. As a journalist, you are looking for the best, most useful, and most essential links that provide:
* background
* additional information on your story
* alternate point of view
* or further exploration.

And there are proper ways to link and not to link.

1. Pick a word or phrase to highlight. The link text should summarize what is at the other end of the link. The user should know where they are going and what they will find.

2. Avoid phrases like “click here.”

3. Know how to create a link using HTML. <a href=”http:www.yourlink.com”>Web Site You Want to Link To</a>

Example of Gothamist post about Toyota recall:

“Following up its sad, grayscale Superbowl ad, on Tuesday Toyota is expected to announce a recall of 300,000 Prius hybrids with faulty brakes. Japan’s Kyodo News broke the news, which has not been confirmed by Toyota. In the U.S. at least 100 drivers have complained that their anti-lock breaks freeze momentarily on bumpy roads, reports the AP, and four accidents are suspected to have been caused by the defect. Last week, the U.S. Government pledged to investigate. If the recall goes through, it will affect drivers of the latest Prius model, who bought their cars after May of last year. Already this year the automaker has recalled over 7 million cars around the world.”

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