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Comic relief: which news sites gave a proper link, and which didn’t?

March 19, 2009 One Comment

News websites aren't always great at linking out. But they might put a bit of effort into it for good causes. So how well did news sites do at linking to, the site for the high-profile fundraising day for Comic Relief, when they covered it?

In particular, how many of them mentioned the website and DID make it a hyperlink? And how many DIDN'T make it a hyperlink?

To find out, I did a search on '' at each site and checked the latest story on or before Red Nose Day (13th March). If no results were found, I did a search on instead. (The FT largely ignored the event, so isn't shown. And the BBC organises it, so it's not shown).

Sites that managed a link: Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Sun, Five, ITV.

Sites that didn't: Times, Independent, Express, Mirror, Channel 4.

Times Online: URLs were not made links

Page checked. "For more information on Comic Relief and how to donate money go to For more information on Jeccdo, go to". Not a link.

Telegraph: Proper link

Page checked. "Today is Red Nose Day. Visit for fund-raising ideas, and to donate money". A link.

Guardian: Proper link

Page checked.  "To sponsor the team visit". A link.

(Although I had to check it wasn't doing the Guardian's usual trick of linking brand names and other keywords to one of its own pages ...)

Independent: Not a link

Page checked. "". Not a link.

Mail: Proper link

Page checked. "To donate to Red Nose Day visit". A link.

Express: #Fail

Didn't mention the websites in its coverage. Perhaps because of the comments on this page, which probably deserve a post of their own.

The Sun: Proper link

Page checked. "To find out more or to make a donation to Comic Relief go to". A link.

Mirror: Not a link

Page checked. "(Barry) Islands In The Stream is released tomorrow and available from" Not a link.

Channel 4: Not a link

Page checked. "To sponsor the team visit" Not a link.

Five: Proper link

Page checked. "Visit the Red Nose Day website to find out how you can contribute." A link.

ITV: Proper link

Page checked. To help the team raise a mountain of cash...sponsor the team at A link.


So, some news sites can provide links (now try to do it more often ...). While others can't easily or won't link out, even for charity. Try harder.

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One Comment »

  • Tim says:

    Oh, yeah - the Guardian's usual trick. Link to some information on the brand and link to the corporate website from that information page.

    Those tricky sods. I've noticed Wikipedia do it as well, the buggers. When will they learn?

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