We're getting closer to the day news apps and interactives can be easily preserved in perpetuity


A research team at New York University is looking to make an app unlike any other. One that would be able to store all of the information that encompasses a news organization and allow users to access it in the same way for years to come. The team will create software that will incorporate a database by ProPublica that tracks payments pharmaceutical and medical device companies make to doctors as a prototype.

Essentially, the software aims to archive the internet. The team is beginning by trying to archive news apps, because news apps have never been able to be fully archived before. While many libraries focus on transforming print materials into digital, when it comes to news apps that are already using software and technology, the goal is to keep them someplace where people in the future can access them. Computers might not be here in the next decade, and instead we could be using different types of technology altogether.

Currently, the team is working on allowing people to access the news app archives through a web browser. The news apps need to be packaged into an archive and then placed in a specific location that people will be able to find. In the fall the team hopes to launch the online repository where news app archives will be kept, and begin packaging and storing the archives, which will include databases that contributed to news stories. The team says archiving news apps is important because while most news organizations don’t have the time to archive all of their materials, technology is changing and there may come a time when the information will not be accessible if it is not archived.

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