The journalistic hyperlink
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournalism practice ; vol. 6, no. 5-6, pp. 692-701.
Hypertextuality has been a fundamental characteristic of the Web since its inception. It also impacts on journalism: the ability to link pages, sites and documents stands out as one of the features that essentially differentiates online news from other media. This paper investigates how prescriptive discourses about online journalism deal with hypertextuality. Focusing on hyperlinks as a concrete embodiment of the vague notion of hypertextuality, this project discusses how hyperlinks have been incorporated within the body of journalistic shared knowledge. We draw on a qualitative content analysis of journalism textbooks, as well as interviews with journalism educators in French-speaking Belgium. Analysing them qualitatively, we discuss how different traditional journalistic values are invoked and articulated when it comes to give guidelines about the ideal use of hyperlinks. Results highlight inherent contradictions between the values that are summoned, but we argue that such inconsistencies are constructive and that they are crucial for journalistic collective identities.