Last week Ben Goldacre explained how a Telegraph story on rape badly distorted a press release.
The details of what happened are not only discrediting, but also revealing about the respective merits of Blogging and early internet journalism. And I think the latter will soon change.
A good Blog always seeks to source statements. This is the beauty of the Hyperlink.
However, the early internet journalist, especially those from the "print" traditions, will tend not to source statements.
This is partly because journalists sometimes see themselves as professional interpreters of sources; but more often, as Nick Davies points out in Flat Earth News, it just disguises laziness and exaggeration.
Readers of internet journalism will increasingly expect hyperlinks to sources to be embedded into internet news stories.
So, in the example highlighted by Ben Goldacre, any story which relies on the statement "claim scientists" would link directly to the press release or to the published research.
Indeed, as a general rule, any "claim scientists" story which now does not link to the source is undoubtedly crap.
I expect some old-fashioned journalists and editors will resist this transparency, not least because it could instantly demonstrate how little - or just how much - they are actually adding to their source.
However, I also expect that the new generation of internet journalists, even in the mainstream media, will instinctively link to their published sources.
Any good internet journalist who invariably linked to - and demonstrably did not distort - their published sources would become highly credible with readers and will secure a following, and this in turn will please editors and advertisers.
However, I suspect "churnalists" will soon just not be bothered with by readers, and then by editors and advertisers.
I reckon that, in a year or so, good internet journalists - like good Bloggers - will routinely link to their published sources, and readers will forget that once this was not the case.
Or am I just being optimistic?