Reporter Questions Why The NY Times Erased All His Work For The International Herald Tribune

from the this-is-a-good-question dept

Back at the end of March, we were surprised that the NY Times, in consolidating its regular site with the site of the International Herald Tribune (which it owned) had broken all the links to Rather than taking them to the article in question on the NY Times site, it simply took them to a landing page. This was just a bad idea all around. It appears that a former reporter for IHT, Thomas Crampton, discovered this over the weekend and has brought renewed attention to the issue by issuing an open letter to the NY Times asking why it "deleted" his career -- in that all of his early work that appeared in the IHT is now gone (some, but not all, of it remains in the NY Times). Additionally, he pointed out that this is also causing problems for Wikipedia, notably with any article that relied on evidence from an IHT article. While we've seen others erase old articles as well (and the Associated Press is famous for forcing all its partners to take down AP articles after just a short time period), it still is amazing in this day and age that anyone thinks it's a good idea to break links to news stories -- especially when the value of archives found via search engines is so high.

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  • identicon
    Ima Fish, 11 May 2009 @ 1:49pm

    The NYTs did not erase your work, it only removed it from Google's evil clutches!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    spencerMatthewP, 11 May 2009 @ 2:57pm

    New Papers -- Yeash

    In our local paper, which incidentally no longer publishes its stories online, had an editorial a while back when it still did. In it the editor went on and on about how the web had not proven itself as a reliable repository for information the way news papers have. That newspapers can be referenced 100 or more years later for what they contained. At first I laughed it off because in order for that to happen, someone has to have the news paper.

    Seeing this blurb, suddenly I realized what the editor meant. Web stuff changes. It's the nature of the beast. In this case, I think it's the news paper trying to make the point that the web is not a valid place to reference information. That we must have newspapers around to provide us authoritative reference materials.

    What we really need is someone to create an archive site that grabs the content from the various news sites, and keeps them there. Sort of the way a library keeps copies of papers and magazines from days gone by. This way, the newspapers can't screw people like this any more.

    I'm rambling. It's late, sorry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2009 @ 3:15pm

      Re: New Papers -- Yeash

      I agree. At first, when I heard a conservative radio talk show host (not Rush Limbaugh) foaming at the mouth about how significant newspapers were, I laughed it off, but later thought about it more. I realized that he was right.

      Once the newspaper is printed and delivered to a subscriber's doorstep, that news cannot later be erased. It exists, both in print and in the stored archives of the newspaper. A communist government, a powerful individual or a corporation, could very well have reason to delete or alter the content of electronic news sources.

      Now, I should identify myself as the ultimate hypocrite when it comes to the enduring value of printed newspapers. I haven't subscribed to a printed newspaper in years, and I probably never will go back. However, I am slowly beginning to understand what these old cranks are yelling about when they're talking about the significance of the (hopefully) unbiased print newspapers that serve a local community or a specific region of the country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Griffin, 11 May 2009 @ 3:18pm

    someone to create an archive site

    The WayBackMachine has been running for maybe fifteen years or more initially, I seem to recall, just archiving USENET groups but now everything:

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NullOp, 11 May 2009 @ 4:00pm


    They erased it because they are managers. They don't consider consequences. Above all, they don't consider consequences that happen to someone else!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Felix Pleșoianu, 11 May 2009 @ 9:51pm

    Another question is why he didn't keep copies of his own work. Oh wait, this is the US we're talking about. Still think it's a good idea to relinquish all rights to one's own creations?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nick, 12 May 2009 @ 6:05am

    Alas, newspapers usually opt out of the Internet Archive

    The folks are polite and respect requests *not* to archive pages.

    Most online newspaper sites specifically include the additional settings needed to tell the Wayback Machine's webcrawler to go away, so its archives of them tend to be fairly useless (the front page and various index pages at best, but almost never any of the actual article pages).

    That's the newspaper companies' fault though, not the Internet Archive's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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