About Tom Evslin

Video Profile of Tom Evslin

Follow Tom Evslin on Twitter


subscribe:

Add to Technorati Favorites!
Powered by TypePad
Member since 01/2005

technorati


« Gazprom is Concerned about the Effect of Shale Gas on American Housewives | Main | Good and Bad News about the Safety of Natural Gas Fracking »

Hey NYTimes, Where’s the Link?

It's no longer acceptable online to make a naked assertion on a controversial subject without at least a link to back it up, at least not for anyone practicing serious journalism and writing a news story. But here's what appeared in the New York Times online today in a story by John Broder headlined Energy Dept. Panel to Revise Standards for Gas Extraction:

"…the practice [hydraulic fracturing] also pours millions of gallons of dangerous chemicals into the ground and into wastewater treatment systems, which in some cases cannot remove all the potential toxins. There are also numerous documented cases in which fracking fluids leaked into aquifers [emphasis mine] and contaminated drinking water."

The article doesn't cite any of the "numerous documented cases"; it doesn't link to any source for this assertion. Although there have been allegations that fracking fluids leak into aquifers, there are good reasons why this is unlikely (see here) and I've never seen a "documented" case that it happened. I also believe he actually means millions of gallons of water which contain some toxic chemicals. Now I can be wrong and would like to know it if I am. I would've liked to follow a link from the NYTimes story to some documentation. But there is no link.

I understand why it's hard to put citations in print stories and this story also did appear in the paper edition. But paper now needs to be treated as the degenerate form of the story – the web makes it easy to link and easy for a reader to check sources and get more information. Links belong in online stories.

I modify my posts for print and sometimes have to remove links. If I think they're important for credibility, I put the text of the link into the article, although sometimes editors take those long strings out. If we're going to pay papers for online access (which I'm willing to do), we should expect good online practice to be followed. BTW, there is also no place for comments on this story in the online NYTimes, so I can't complain there.

Subsequent information:

Good and Bad News about the Safety of Natural Gas Fracking

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Now on Kindle!

hackoff.com: An historic murder mystery set in the Internet bubble and rubble

CEO Tom Evslin's insider account of the Internet bubble and its aftermath. "This novel is a surveillance video of the seeds of the current economic collapse."

The Interpreter's Tale

Hacker Dom Montain is in Barcelona in Evslin's Kindle-edition long short story. Why? and why are the pickpockets stealing mobile phones?

Need A Kindle?

Kindle: Amazon's Wireless Reading Device

Not quite as good as a real book IMHO but a lot lighter than a trip worth of books. Also better than a cell phone for mobile web access - and that's free!

Recent Reads - Click title to order from Amazon


Google

  • adlinks
  • adsense