Permanence and the web

Permanence is one of the five most important characteristics of the web (the other four being capacity, immediacy, flexibility, and interactivity), as explained in chapter 1 of Web Journalism. Until now. it has not been the subject of much discussion. But a high-level conference on blogging and journalism at Harvard University last week has spurred thinking about one part of the idea of permanence – archiving.

Many major news organizations, beginning with the New York Times, charge for accessing files that are more than a week or two old. Placing these files behind a tollgate has some important implications for the web and the activities that it has engendered.

More on this.

Update: Mark Glasser of the Online Journalism Review has just posted an article on this topic that gives a more in-depth explanation of the view of newspapers that charge for their archieves. One of the article’s conclusions is that while the revenue gained from archive sales and afer-market database sales (such as LexisNexis) is not huge, it is significant, and most news organizations do not want to give that up. (Posted Feb. 3, 2005)

Read more about journalism and issues facing the profession at JPROF.com.

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About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.
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