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May 14, 2015

Losing Our History: Link Rot and Local News


“If you work in a newsroom today, the legacy of your born-digital content is probably at risk… If you run a digital news business, one of your greatest competitive advantages is going 404 every day.” In a post on how broken and dead links are dismantling parts of our history, Ryan Thornburg of UNC writes that the story of our generation “is being written in digital sand” as pages disappear and links break.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is studying how to better preserve born digital news and information in North Carolina (the Knight Foundation and the Reynolds Journalism Institute are also working on this), but this is something we should all care deeply about.

Melody Kramer recently wrote about the potential of archives as tools for community engagement and possible revenue streams. Melody’s post sparked a much longer post from Steve Buttry with a series of really interesting ideas for how local news organizations could leverage their old content. See also these resources from a training I held on news archives last year.

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