This week the UK government released a report into social mobility. While mainstream reporting focused mainly on the broad picture, I wanted to read the original government report itself. Which publishers linked to it?
- The Telegraph: fail. Not one of the 4 articles I could find linked to the report.
- The Times: fail. Alan Milburn’s own piece about the report fails to link to it. These articles don’t either.
- The Independent: fail, despite having more articles on the issue than other websites.
- The BBC: links very clearly to both a summary (PDF) and the whole report (PDF). Curiously, however, both are hosted on the BBC’s own site.
- Sky: fail. Oh, and an appalling search facility – top result for a search on ‘Milburn Report’? From 2002.
- ITN: fail.
- Reuters: fail.
- Channel 4 News: no link on the video report, but there is a link below a line at the end of this story. You have to scroll to see it. Although it’s labelled as an ‘external link’ the PDFs are hosted on C4’s own site.
- The Guardian: mixed. This article didn’t and nor did this; but this one did – albeit in par 5, three pars after the report is first mentioned. Notably, 2 pieces on their blogging platform Comment is Free did – both in the first paragraph, no less, and to the Cabinet Office version.
I’ve written and spoken extensively on the importance of linking, but it comes down to 2 core reasons:
Firstly, Google will rank a page more highly if it includes more outgoing links.
Secondly, people will return to your site more often if they know they can expect useful links.
So, get your act together, please what are news organisations doing to address this?