Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Canoe needs links

The most hyped Internet web site in Sun Media newspapers is canoe.ca, but when it comes to media awards, the online news service is completely in the dark.

The recent Dunlop Awards stories on canoe.ca/torontosun.com are classic examples. There were no links from the online stories to the original award-winning Sun Media entries.

Mark Bonokoski's national Beyond Borders Media Award for his child sexual abuse feature in Maclean's is another online story that shouted for a link. His May, 2006, article is in the canoe.ca archives.

When the Internet became a refreshing new vehicle for information in the 1990s, we thought media would pounce on the opportunity to showcase original content when awards were won.

Like, we won this media award and, click, this is the winning entry.

It hasn't happened.

TSF goes out of its way to Google for stories and photographs behind the awards because the first thing we think of is a lot of people might not have viewed them first time around.

Jerry Gladman's award-winning Living and Dying With ALS, written in the final months before his death in 2004, has been the most active of all TSF awards links. Three years later, people are saying thanks for access to Jerry's heartbreaking series.

Sun readers are being urged daily to visit canoe.ca, but for unknown reasons, they are not being allowed to expand their knowledge with ease by clicking on links to other sources.

We can understand online news agencies being hesitant to direct readers to outside web sites via links, but most Sun Media awards content is on internal computers and not off site.

Links to winning entries are a free and easy way to toot your own horn and keep original content alive in the minds of readers, editors and recipients of the awards.

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