Monday, July 9, 2012

Culling the Archive

Some screen shots below showing the effect of the cull of reports from ABC's News Archive:
 The Wayback Machine, the Internet archive, has preserved some glimpses of ABC's Archive for posterity. We looked at June 16, 2008 when ABC News posted a record 392 reports. The Wayback machine archive captured on 2 February 2011 confirms our earlier count, showing 15 pages with 25 reports each, with the 16th page containing 17 reports. As of this morning the ABC's achive shows just 10 pages, each with 25 reports for a total of 250 reports, meaning access to 142 reports through the archive have been removed, effectively culled (see comparison of screen shots below-click to enlarge). It seems that reports prior to about midday, in this case, have been sent down the memory hole. 
The missing stories such as this one (Skiers take advantage of alpine snow) still appear to be available if you know the URL.
Why the ABC have placed a limit on the number of stories in its archive remains a mystery. It seems at this point that attempts to thwart our productivity survey at least one possible reason, incompetence always another.


  1. I think the reason why ABC do it relates to a term used by Prof Phil Jones from the Climategate scandal from the University of East Anglia in "hide the decline." ABC knows to hide as much evidence as possible, promote its (small "l") liberal agenda while continuing to be exponentially appropriated.

    The ABC should be Pay-4-View. Under this system there would be one simple ABC1 channel. Radio could continue as per usual. Internet news would be a free "service." However, any additional coverage would be pay-for-view. If people want to watch or read "opinion" or "panel" pieces, they can pay for it! ABC1 would just be the news "service" = no frills and save $1,500,000,000 per year! (that'll get Swan his surplus!!!)

  2. From a reader who wishes to remain anonymous...This was nicely formatted but unfortunately the formatting has dropped out (Thanks for the info!)

    Your post on the ABC's archiving behaviour makes interesting reading. However these days it seems that we can't necessarily assume that what goes into the archives is the same as what was originally broadcasted.

    An odd thing happened yesterday to Samantha Hawley's interview with Greg Combet on AM about the carbon tax. Details below. Dunno how to prove what I heard, and dunno the significance of any of it, but I thought I'd pass on the oddity FYI. I don't want my name used anywhere, please, .

    Hawley did a surprisingly forceful interview with Combet. Here's the link plus the transcript.

    I heard the original interview, and was somewhat startled by what sounded like a threat from Combet about speaking too freely:

    "And I've got one thing to say in particular to business people, and that's just be very careful about getting mixed up with Tony Abbott's dishonest scare campaign about prices and carbon pricing. It's already cost the CEO of Brumby's bakery his job for trying to blame price rises on the carbon pricing arrangements. Other business people should be very wary as well."

    Hawley continued to go in hard, and there was one sharp exchange about the the democratic right of businesses to put notices in their windows. However when I checked online later, that exchange was no longer included in the interview - either the audio or the transcript - nor was there any editorial indication of a cut. I may well have misheard…but I don't think so. It also took a long time for the link plus transcript to go up online - Fran Kelly's Breakfast segments up to 8am (both before and after AM) were all online long before Tony Eastley's segments appeared - a very different time pattern from today, when everything went up in sequence pronto. Something was going on.

    The online transcript and audio link both suggest Combet interrupted Hawley's question:

    SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Well it is confusing for businesses, you must admit that. But don't businesses have the …

    GREG COMBET: There's nothing confusing about it whatsoever, nothing confusing about it whatsoever!

    However while Combet was occasionally emphatic, he was characteristically polite through the original interview and did not interrupt - although he did react sharply to the 'democracy' question. From memory, here's what I heard and where I think the interview was cut.

    SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Well it is confusing for businesses, you must admit that. But don't businesses have the …[words to the effect '...right to put whatever notices they like in their windows? We do live in a democracy.'

    COMBET's sharp retort: 'And I have the democratic right to express my opinion…' or words to that effect. ]

    Why, you wonder, did the ABC want that question and answer to disappear? Scruffy and unethical journalism, if nothing else.

  3. I've made one more complaint against ABC24:


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