A study carried out this week by Dave Eaves reveals that mainstream media outlets actually benefit by linking out to their sources.
The study, which takes into account incoming and outgoing links, uses statistical calculations (the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient) to show that there is a strong correlation (0.842733801) between the number of times a site links out compared to the number of links it gets back in return.
In addition the study shows how strong the domains of these mainstream media sources are using the new SEOmoz Trifecta tool.
Most mainstream media sites are quite good at linking out from blogs although some still link less from their main stories and are not always known for crediting their sources.
James Montgomery, Editor of FT.com, points out that:
“…one needs a clear distinction between attribution and sourcing, journalistically speaking. Citing a non-FT source would not, generally speaking, meet the FT as required standards of verification. (Just because something is reported by the New York Times, say, doesn’t make it true, however much we implicitly believe what we read in that newspaper – we have to check for ourselves.)”
Just because a blogger writes something before another site doesn’t mean they are the source. A mainstream news site like the FT.com has to publish accurate news – citing a blogger as a source isn’t usually reliable enough.