Friday 14 June 2013

Campaign for Links In Reporting CLIR - The Writer should do the hard work so the Reader does not have to

From all the Hangouts I've been in, nothing has been said more than, Where's the Link?

This extends to Harvard referencing and any student doing their Homework.

Yet, if you're a Reporter you still get away with it. And no, I'm not the first person to flag this issue and ask for some improvements.

For those unsure, the words Harvard referencing above are an online link  when clicked links to a page at Wikipedia (not an advertisement).

And for those journalists who will claim protection of sources, I'm talking really straight forward links, not naming the janitor in a  government cover up (or outing an undercover CIA Agent).

Simple Example Earlier today, the local BBC ran a post about Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire being the new centre of England. It ran with a two minute video and 100 words of text (7.28 am).

It seems the BBC ran with another post of the same story 45 mins earlier (6.42 am, same video), this time with 250 words. The reason I've talked about the second one first - that's the one I found. My tip, produce one story, one post and stick with it - not two.

From reading and watching - I want to find out more. Where is this place? Where is the old place? Where is the Ordnance Survey report? Why taken so long ie from 2002 to June 2013? And what plans are their for the farm and the local tourist board?

Let's break this down. BBC Leicester produced the story. They have footage from Meriden and Fenny Drayton. From my rough math, that's nearly two hours travelling without recording time. They must have researched to get the story, so will have the links.

All I'm trying to do here, look at Reporter 2.0 and see where Industrial Media is heading compared to what a citizen could do. And this is just one example of a story without links - I will add more examples to this post.

Here is my version From Googling: fenny drayton centre of england ordnance survey, I have the wikipedia .. Another link is to Map Zone with coordinates (SP 36382 96821).

Then to getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure which pinpoints the location to within a metre (maybe incorrectly, read on). Even a Bing Map. Then, keen eyes will see the location if slightly different. Wikipedia gives us a few more links however, what's poor, many links head back to the BBC.

And of course, the BBC have not linked at all so the trail runs cold and that's why I made this post.

As for me, I'm about to email the Ordnance Survey for a copy of the 2002 report.

Oh, and another way is to ask your friends like +Robert Redl who is the creator of the phrase, Where is the link?

Update 23 July 2013: Email received from the Ordnance Survey UK ..

There are differing views as to the exact position of the centre of Britain due to defining exactly what the expression means.

We would never categorically state an absolute centre for any three dimensional land mass as this is simply not possible.  The basic problem is determining the centre of an irregular three dimensional object on the surface of a sphere.  Not only that, but the irregular object is surrounded by moving water.  If you consider the movement of tides on a beach, this changes the shape of the object on a constant basis.

We receive many enquiries on this subject and have our own version of what we feel is the centre of Great Britain.  In our opinion using just one of the many methods to calculate it the centre (including the 401 associated islands) is 7 km north west of Dunsop Bridge on Whitendale Hanging Stones Grid Reference: SD 64188.3, 56541.43.

This calculation was achieved by linking a computer programme (based on the standard mathematical principle for determining the centre of a two dimensional irregular object) to our 1:625,000 scale mapping.  It calculated the point at which a two dimensional irregular object would balance horizontally on the head of a theoretical pin.

This is not categorical but as close an answer we can get to a question, likely to be asked for many years to come.  It is our attempt to answer the impossible.

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