Editor's note: Planning is underway for the Dodging the Memory Hole 2017: Saving Online News forum. Learn more about it here

Story archives separate an established news organization from a new competitor. They provide an essential, unmatched historical record for communities. They are a mostly untapped potential source of revenue and reader engagement.

So why isn’t more thought and effort going into making sure that they are preserved and leveraged?

Old-school methods of preserving print edition newspapers still work pretty well—keeping some copies in a cool, dark place, protected from insects, and replicating them on microfilm with a backup copy at the local library.

The problem is digital, according to Edward McCain of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

Only a fraction of the news produced by newspapers today makes the print edition, and there has been an explosion of online-only news outlets.

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MU | Missouri School of Journalism | University of Missouri