News groups online can increase their authority by linking to alternative sources to complement their original content, citizen journalism guru Dan Gillmor has told an industry conference.

Speaking at the New Media Knowledge conference, in London today, he said that news organisations needed not only to create content but also not be afraid to link to related content.

[Editors note: in the spirit of Mr Gillmor's address here are a few links to those blogging the event best:

Robin Hamman

Jemima Kiss

Kevin Anderson

Martin Stabe

Comprehensive stuff. So should cover events this way or continue to pluck out stories in the somewhat old-fashioned way? Thoughts here please.]

"Journalists and traditional news organisations need to recognise that they don’t know everything. What I learned when I got to Silicon Valley to write about technology was that my readers knew much more than I did, and that was a great thing,” Mr Gillmor said.

"It helped me do better journalism. No news organisation can cover everything and all news organisations, whether professional or start up, should point to the other stuff that they don't do but is relevant to what they care about and what their audience cares about.

"Aftonbladet in Sweden has a blog portal which is the best blog portal in the country. When I visited there last fall their top ranked blog was written by someone who works for one of their competitor.

"I thought that was interesting but they thought it was nothing to be surprised by.

"If you send people away they come back to you because if you are sending them away to the good stuff they will trust you even more."

Gillmor also said that a community-centric approach could aid in discerning the quality and believability of content on the web.

"How do we know that things can be trusted on the web? Well we don't because of Photoshop and its equivalents can give us photos that are complete fakes.

"How do we make sure that truth catches up with lies? We have not got there yet. We need to find a way to do it; people still need to work on that.

"So much data is available how do we find what is reliable and real? One way would be to move to where the community moves in as part of the process.

"Things like Digg and Newsvine, where people vote on the stories have a part to play. But voting is just popularity and it's not enough. You have got to add reputation. A complicated word in this context but it will work."

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