Experts say journalism outfits are naive about the safety of digital content and underestimate the value of archives

Minus proper archives, news outlets risk losing years of backstories forever.Print stories can be lost, but digital stories last forever, captured for eternity in some nebulous internet ether or on a hard drive in a desk drawer. At least, that’s the vague theory assumed by many producers and consumers of digital news. Once something is posted or backed up, it never really disappears—and if that’s true, archiving digital work seems less urgent. That line of thinking is exactly why so many news organizations risk losing years’ worth of stories. As we move deeper into the digital era, we’ve recognized the need to preserve and digitize print content, but we’re still in the early stages of understanding how we safely archive our digital news.
 
A survey released last week by The Missouri School of Journalism’s Donald W. Reynolds Institute shows how much outlets are losing when they don’t effectively archive their work, which many do not. 
 

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