BBC News linking policy (3)
Links to external sites are an important part of the BBC News website and I have blogged previously about how and why we are aiming to develop what we do in this area - here and here.
One theme that came up was what we should do about linking to sites which require subscription. There were mixed views; on balance, you seemed to be in favour of us providing the most relevant links, wherever they are, with some saying they'd like us also to flag links which require subscription if you follow them.
That is broadly the direction we are going in. As the Times moves into online subscription and others consider the options - see, for example, this piece about the New York Times - there is likely to be a changing landscape with some sites and stories behind paywalls, some not, and some which are in between - a certain number of visits or part of an article free, all depending on the user's individual circumstances.
Our approach will continue to be to take editorial justification as our guiding principle - the relevance of the link in relation to the story we are reporting and its usefulness to you in that context. Beyond that, we will, where practical, aim to tell you if the link is going to a subscription site. Our automated Newstracker module, for example, should be able to do this and already signals when registration is required.
For in-line links in blog posts and news stories, it may be impractical to do this for reasons of space, layout or time. Whatever we do, though, we will look for the best and most useful links for you, while following our approach to external links - which you can find at the bottom of every page.
Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.