Link or it didn’t happen

This post was originally written in March of 2009. That’s almost 12 years ago. I can’t believe I was already posting random things no one read that long ago. Anyway, a lot has changed since I wrote this. Most news now does start with a link or a tweet. People aren’t generally hearing news for the first time on a live news broadcast. The link or it didn’t happen theory is still out there though. Soon after the bombing in Nashville(remember that? seems it faded from the news pretty quick) the police in Lexington, KY evacuated part of downtown while they investigated a suspicious RV. Many people first heard of this when a former Kentucky basketball player tweeted about being out at dinner with his wife when it happened. He was parked near the RV so he had a first hand account of what was happening. Someone responded to the tweet that says he is on scene with “Source?” He was there on scene but because he didn’t cite a source that was not “I’m on scene” they doubted the information. Kind of like the “link or it didn’t happen” scenario I wrote about 12 years ago. You can find that in the following paragraphs.

Like every other obsessed Kentucky basketball fan, I have been following the firing of Billy Gillispie and the search for a new UK basketball coach. One place I look for information is The Cat’s Pause message boards. One phrase I keep seeing in the board is “link or it didn’t happen”. As with most people of the internet generation, the people on the board believe that if it is not being reported on the internet, it is not real news. One such posting of the phrase was after someone posted something they heard live on the local news.  There is still journalism happening in the world that does not have it’s base in the internet, email or anything more sophisticated than a telephone. Here is the most likely scenario for the story heard on the news:

Local reporter with ties to university has friends on staff as sources. Source hears information the coach will be fired. Source calls local reporter to tell him. He alerts producers who break into live news broadcast to report the news. Notice the absence of the internet? I’m sure this type of reporting goes on all the time. Of course, eventually, there will be a link once the story is typed up and posted on the station’s website. The lack of the link during the live broadcast does not make the news any less real. I would be more likely to believe that story than the hundreds of internet rumors that pop up every day. These rumors have links that can be shared, but this doesn’t make them true. At least the reporters for the most part will actually verify the story before running it. Anyone with a computer can make up a story. Just having a link doesn’t mean it happened anymore than no link means it didn’t.


8 thoughts on “Link or it didn’t happen

    1. Really? You have nothing better to do but go on blogs and correct people? Is my wrong form of its really that important to you?


      1. But you used the wrong form of the word! And yes, for /me/ your form of the word “its’ is important because you misspelt the word. People like YOU are the ones who are leading us to the devolution of the English language!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I note that four of the five comments on this post here (so far) are on this topic, which is totally irrelevant to your post.

        I could stay silent, or I could comment.

        I, too, saw the “it’s” in your post, and whenever I see that, it always distracts me from whatever it is I’m reading. Call it a fault in my own makeup, if you like; perhaps I should learn to let it not bother me. But, until recently, it has been my natural tendency, when I see this error in particular, to inform the author of the mistake; it’s easily addressed in the short term, by fixing the typo, and a little harder in the longer term, by recognising that it causes an issue for some people, and trying to cure it by thinking twice whenever the letters ‘i’ ‘t’ and ‘s’ appear together.

        I think the mistake Charlotte may have made here was not using the ‘criticism sandwich’ (see video I’ve linked below).

        And I think that the mistake you may have made is by reacting so harshly to a simple comment. A suggestion: another option you could have chosen would have been to quietly delete the comment that clearly caused you such offense. And, naturally, this one, too 🙂


      3. I wasn’t expecting to wake up to a comment about a comment I made 10 years ago. Yes, I could have handled it better. I was a different person 10 years ago working in an extremely stressful place that made me an angry person. These days I would fix the error and move on.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s