The future of our past: The absence of memory infrastructure in journalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the absence of memory infrastructure within news organizations and its implications for journalism. It draws upon interviews with journalists and staff members representing 20 prominent US news organizations. Through these interviews, the paper uncovers prevalent perceptions and misconceptions regarding the importance of preserving news content for future reference and accessibility. The research findings illuminate significant challenges journalists face in maintaining printed archives and highlight their inadequate preservation of digital publications. Instead, they often rely on external services such as Google and the Internet Archive for content retrieval. This study argues that the decline of print newspapers has unwittingly led to the erosion of a crucial component in the news production process—the news archive. The absence of this vital memory infrastructure leaves news organizations bereft of a critical resource and contributes to collective forgetfulness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • history
  • journalism
  • memory
  • News archives
  • newspapers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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