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Welcome to the first issue of JDNA News
Welcome to the first issue of JDNA News
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October 13, 2015

Welcome to JDNA News

This is JDNA News, a new monthly newsletter from the Journalism Digital News Archive, a program of the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and University of Missouri Libraries. We work to advance the preservation of and access to news originally produced in digital formats. Our initiatives include the Dodging the Memory Hole series of action-oriented conferences and workshops, a demonstration project for preserving born-digital photojournalism, and research into new business models for archives funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
We’re not new, but this monthly newsletter is. Why start one? Preserving the world’s “first rough draft of history” is important — and with half of all Web content going missing or becoming unrecognizable after just one year, it’s a huge issue. We want to provide a place where you and others interested in saving digital news content can learn more about what’s going on in the digital journalism preservation sphere, where JDNA fits in and how you can help.

Why you should care

Across the media industry, between 7.6 million and 14 million news articles have been lost in the past six months alone, according to The GDELT Project. That means 70,000 to 140,000 articles are being lost each day.

We're spreading the news about saving news from coast to coast

We held Dodging the Memory Hole: Beyond NDNP in mid-September at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. NDNP stands for National Digital Newspaper Program, which digitizes pre-1923 newspapers. Edward McCain, digital curator of journalism at RJI, issued a call to extend NDNP’s existing infrastructure to include capturing and saving born-digital news. Thirty librarians, publishers, digital preservationists and archivists attended the event.
After identifying four ideas that could advance the preservation of journalism in digital formats, participants voted to prioritize the creation of a stakeholder consortium. They also identified the necessary components of such a consortium, including regional meetings/conferences, a shared set of materials and working groups connected online. (For the latter, we’ve created the DTMH Team Leadership Google Group; join if you’re interested.)
Next, we headed west to the Online News Association conference in Los Angeles, where we spoke at the Dodging the Memory Hole in Our Digital News Heritage session. McCain shared stories of lost digital content at the Tucson Citizen, the Columbia Missourian and even NASA to convey the dire consequences of not archiving binary journalism.
RJI collaborator and Los Angeles Times Data Desk Editor Ben Welsh spoke about existing ways to archive digital content, such as and Memento, and announced the launch of Memento for WordPress, a plugin for publishers that indexes past revisions of posts and makes them available. (We’re looking for a small group of beta testers — if you’re interested, drop us a line.)
Most recently, we attended the LION Publishers Summit in Chicago, where McCain again spoke about the importance of archiving digital newsHe suggested digital archiving is in worse shape than analog archiving because of the specific knowledge and processes involved. He also discussed the next Dodging the Memory Hole conference, to be held in 2016 at UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library.

What we're reading

  • Philadelphia City Paper is shutting down, and some of its archives might go with it. Temple University Libraries is working on a deal with founder Bruce Schimmel to secure the rights to print and digital content and business records from 1981 to 1996. Perry Corsetti — publisher of Broad Street Media, which owned the City Paper — said he wants to keep the rights to the rest of the content, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • At September’s IBC conference, the Digital Production Partnership introduced a guide to digital archiving that covers all aspects of the process: deciding what to keep, how to store it and how to retrieve it.
  • In the land down under, the National Archives of Australia is focusing on digital document preservation so that while “technology becomes obsolete, the information is immortal.”
  • From the archives: In February, Journalist’s Resource published a linking best practices guide to help publishers avoid link rot.

What others are saying about digital news preservation

“Everyone’s talking about what’s happening the next hot minute. We’re talking about what's happening 20 yrs from now.” — @fleemanator on McCain and Welsh’s ONA15 session

“Newsrooms! Team up w/ digital librarians. They want to understand your probs and solve them @palewire #ONA15 #ONA15archive #savenews” — @candacevok on McCain and Welsh’s ONA15 session

“Digital pubs in worse shape than print on archiving says @e_mccain. FYI friends Google cache is not an archive #LION15 up to us to do better.” — @nburke on McCain’s LION Summit session
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About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities.
RJI | Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

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