June 26, 2011

NEW YORK TIMES: That airbrushing we do? Maybe we should think about not doing that.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Isn’t it interesting that blogs have figured out how to update an evolving story without disappearing the original, but the paper of record can’t seem to manage?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Scott Rosenberg notes that Wikipedia has handled this problem and comments: “Versions of stories are just data. For the Times, or any other website, to save them is a matter of (a) storage space and (b) interface tweaks to make the versions accessible. Today, storage is cheap and getting cheaper, and Web interfaces are more flexible than ever. Really, there’s nothing unrealistic about preserving an ‘immutable, permanent record’ of every post-publication change made to every story. . . . By making story versions “not a priority,” the Times is essentially abdicating its longstanding status as our paper of record as it makes the transition from paper to digital. I doubt that’s what its leaders intend to do.” Oh, I’m not so sure.

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