Kudos to nzherald for embedding source documents in stories (2014)

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to notice nzherald.co.nz increasingly embedding source documents within stories.

Perhaps this good practice has just finally made it into everyday workflows or perhaps the impetus is coming from the Herald’s newish data editor Harkanwal Singh, who is a highly motivated champion of data journalism and digital users. Either way, well done and thank you.

There was an example this morning in the Bennett rolls out ‘investment approach’ story, which references an issues paper put out by the Productivity Commission asking for public input on how to improve public sector services.

The Herald used DocumentCloud to embed the Productivity Commission issues paper in the story so you could check details or read it through right there and then. It looks like this in the story:

Issues-Paper-Screengrab

Points also awarded for providing a link to the Productivity Commission website, which is where the public can make submissions on the issues paper. It’s nice to see news orgs finally linking out to other sites in service of their readers.

I’m withholding bonus points, however, since the story didn’t link to the relevant page on the Productivity Commission website. It would have been great too if it had mentioned the deadline for public submissions and linked to the page where you can subscribe to updates. You know, in a ‘news you can use’ kind of way.

Issues Paper | Press Release | How to Make a Submission | Subscribe to Updates on Process

18 November 2014:  Due date for submissions on Issues paper |  Add to iCal
March 2015:  Draft report released for submissions
30 June 2015:  Final report due to Government

Another recent example of embedding source documents was in the Kiwis want more action on child poverty but not higher taxes story by Simon Collins. The MMResearch Report referred to was embedded. Extra points for describing in the story how the research was conducted and its margin of error.

There have been many more examples lately, and increasingly in business stories too. Long may it continue.