The JDNA information management initiative plans to advocate sustainable preservation of fragile born-digital news content by cultivating and developing news preservation systems and raising awareness of the problem among stakeholders.

When we humans possess a treasured asset, we take time to protect it from loss, damage or theft. If that asset produces a yield that can be harvested, we invest time and effort to cultivate it in order to maximize that yield. Despite the undeniable logic of this, news organizations too often see their archives as cost centers instead of sources of potential revenue. In light of the risks presented by this misperception, one of JDNA’s top priorities is to identify and demonstrate innovative models for monetizing archives.

In the process of finding ways to monetize archives, the first phase includes supporting infrastructure through development of open-source software for access and preservation of digital news content from all news distribution channels: newspaper, radio, television, mobile and Web.

The development process will progress in increments, first addressing the needs of newspapers, then radio and finally television. The eventual JDNA software platform will allow content providers to pool both IT and media asset resources, thus saving money and strengthening the news ecosystem. The model of a digital archive that serves multiple distribution channels for content would be, to our knowledge, a news industry first. As adoption of the JDNA platform grows, news archive co-ops can be assembled, so that content providers — especially those from small and medium markets — will benefit from the advantages provided by larger banks of digital assets. All JDNA co-op partners could tap into a marketplace that would extend its reach with the addition of each new archive.

JDNA seeks input and guidance from those working in memory institutions, journalism organizations, government, education and other stakeholders. Anyone interested in the preservation of born-digital journalism is invited to join our conversation about how best to proceed, who should be involved, what the desired outcomes are and how we should go about getting there.