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Washington Post Reviews its 10 Years on the Web 95

anaesthetica writes "The Washington Post is featuring three stories today reviewing their experience in adapting the "old media" to the new environment of the web. The first article examines their revelation that 'The news, as "lecture," is giving way to the news as a "conversation".' The second looks at the 'Kaiser memo' which served as the germinating point for what would become, phrased in language that today seems amusingly quaint. The final article looks at the death of traditional print newspapers as consumers flock to internet sources for their news."
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Washington Post Reviews its 10 Years on the Web

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  • by Eevee ( 535658 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:24PM (#15565398)
    I would start reading them. Instead, I keep going back to the BBC.
    • "I would start reading them. Instead, I keep going back to the BBC."

      Yeesh, you only gotta do it once. They don't even validate the email address. That's what cookies are for, lazypants. :P
      • Only once? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Eevee ( 535658 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:59PM (#15565568)

        That would be once for my laptop, once for my desktop system, once for my primary machine at work, once for the kiosk in the server room, twice for the kiosks in the lab...all being redone every time I clean out the cookies.

        But the problem is it's not just the Post. There's all these newspapers doing it. Repeatedly, I've had people send me links to what I would assume are interesting stories...only to be hit with a registration page. If I'm not willing to put up with the hassle for my local paper, I'm sure not going to bother for the West Bumfuck Tribune out of Idaho. CNN, Fox News(1), ABC News, even MSNBC aren't doing registrations, so guess who gets my traffic.


        (1) Yeah, like I'd really follow Fox News.

        • Re:Only once? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:24PM (#15565683) Homepage Journal
          "That would be once for my laptop, once for my desktop system, once for my primary machine at work, once for the kiosk in the server room, twice for the kiosks in the lab..."

          It'd be once for the machine you're reading the story on. Don't be dramatic. :P

          "If I'm not willing to put up with the hassle for my local paper, I'm sure not going to bother for the West Bumfuck Tribune out of Idaho. CNN, Fox News(1), ABC News, even MSNBC aren't doing registrations, so guess who gets my traffic."

          Okay... so you're unwilling to type in some garbage to get through the reg page, instead preferring to go hunting for the story (if it's even there) on one of the other 4 sites that you've mentioned.

          You know, I can understand some of the annoyance here. I work across 3 different machines every day. I'm not oblvious to the problems you're mentioning. But, man, I just don't understand the panty-bunching about it on Slashdot. By the time you've spent that (minimum of) 20 seconds typing that comment, you would have been in already.
          • But, man, I just don't understand the panty-bunching about it on Slashdot. By the time you've spent that (minimum of) 20 seconds typing that comment, you would have been in already.

            It's not 20 seconds, it's 2 minutes times however news sites you read across however many computers you read your news on times however often your cookies get cleared times the small loss in privacy times the number of spam-target email addresses it's necessary to create and remember passwords for times however many broken re

            • Re:Only once? (Score:1, Offtopic)

              by NanoGator ( 522640 )
              "It's not 20 seconds, it's 2 minutes..."

              I just timed myself doing it, took 25 seconds.

              "...times however news sites you read..."

              I think I've encountered like 4 of these in the last 2 years. (LaTimes, WashingtonPost, NYT, and... one Portland I cannot remember the name of.) How many are you hitting?

              "across however many computers you read your news on"

              Why would you read this story, then go hopping to all your machines and logging in there, too? The answer is, you wouldn't. Again, don't be dramatic.

              "times how
              • I think all your points are arguable but I don't want to get into a point slinging match. Readers can decide.

                I'd like to make a couple of other points though: one is that this is an "I don't mind and you don't matter" situation. The website administrators clearly aren't interested in creating creating the best experience they can for the reader when they do this. Fortunately others are.

                Also remember that one of the reasons you don't see it much is in part because of people you regard as unreasonable (li

            • Re:Only once? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bheer ( 633842 )
              Mandatory registration definitely sucks, but IMO you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

              > The BBC is one of the best mainstream news sites out there and in general the idiots who think their news is worth mandatory registration for just that

              The BBC can afford to do that because every UK television-owning household is paying for it -- over $250 a year IIRC. And a lot of them do chafe at what they're getting in the bargain. And if you think the BBC doesn't have an agenda, you're seriously deluded. (Tha
              • I agree; multiple news sources are a good idea. That's why I qualified my praise of the BBC by calling it "one of the best mainstream" news sources rather than simply "the best".

                All news sources must select what stories they run. That alone creates bias. How they phrase the stories also creates bias. In addition, readers create their own bias by selecting what news sources they read and by interpreting the stories they read. Marketers pay for bias by spamming their biased messages across multiple news sou

          • If all news spawned from the same source, sure. Every newspaper site, it seems, wants to mine your data, and force you to do a registration for it. One or two times, it's managable (I've done it for the NY Times, I think that's it - and that was part of a school project that I had no way around), but for every flipping newspaper's website is insane. I suppose if they're listed on I'm not especially bothered, but I'd rather not be spammed by a hundred news sites, let alone remember whether th
          • Re:Only once? (Score:2, Informative)

            That's why "BugmeNot" is one of the greatest extensions ever created. I click on a link, get confronted by a reg page, right click, down to BugmeNot, and I'm in.

            3 seconds.
          • Re:Only once? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zCyl ( 14362 )
            By the time you've spent that (minimum of) 20 seconds typing that comment, you would have been in already.

            But every time someone says "Screw it" and doesn't register, their web stats will record someone who reached the registration page, but gave up before making it through to see their news and their banner ads (and any business worth its salt should be examining viewing patterns). Enough of that, and they will conform to a less annoying policy. Nearly every news article is in a few dozen sources anyway,
          • True but isn't the primary problem in my veiw. The biggest problem with having to register to enter is I haven't seen the product. If I don't know what the Washington Post is like, I'm not going to pay to find out.

            Google news does it well. I can get to the newspapers. I get a broad range of veiws. It's not cluttered. I don't have to worry about the newspapers agenda (as much) because I'm getting stories from China's angle, as well as the State's and quite often on the same subjects.

            BBC has some good st

        • The solution: Google Browser Sync Be sure to encrypt everything
      • Yeesh, you only gotta do it once. They don't even validate the email address. That's what cookies are for, lazypants. :P

        Why should I have to do it at all? Do they want me to view their advertisements or don't they?

      • It's not just the hassle of registration (can take several minutes on some sites), or the feeling of futility at filling in completely fake details that are no use to anyone (so why do they ask?), it's the cost. I've seen the NY Times ask me for $4 to read a 500 word article. You could buy several newspapers for that.
    • Was there some special reason I was able to read the article without registering then?
    • assuming you use firefox, not a bad assumption given that you read /. start using bugmenot extension. avoids all free compulsory registration nuisance on web.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:33PM (#15565715)
      "If only they'd drop the registration, I would start reading them."
      Shouldn't you be posting that as an Anonymous Coward?
    • BugMeNot. [] + Firefox. [] = No Registration
    • I hear the BugMeNot firefox extension [] is helpful for reading articles.
    • Same here.

      I know there are going to be people crawling out of the woodwork to give how many seconds it takes to create a new registration for a particular site, but honestly I'm just not interested. I have to remember enough usernames and passwords as it is already, I don't need to remember another half dozen or two for my news sites.

      Google News seems to be pretty good about finding stories from no-reg-required sites, and it's easy enough if you click a link and end up at a registration page just to back up
    • A coupla years ago when I lived and worked in DC there was an ever-smiling WaPo employee named Sheldon. He used to stand in front of the Van Dorn metro station, rain or shine, probably still does, handing out the free dumbed-down weekly-reader edition of the WaPo. Now I would save trees and metro cleanup costs by reading the paper on my smartphone. I would tease Sheldon. "Sheldon, don't you want to know my date of birth?" He looked at me like I was crazy. "If I give you my email address, can I have a
  • by Kesch ( 943326 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:27PM (#15565414)
    'The news, as "lecture," is giving way to the news as a "conversation".

    I suggest we discuss this new news paradigm.
    • With camera crews now able to broadcast live from anywhere on the planet, news has become the ultimate reality TV show. There's far less interest in capturing and analyzing real facts and far more on sound-bites, dramatic backdrops and other creative content to up viewership.
  • So, which was the first print newspaper to have a website? A dialup bulletin board type thing (digital ink) doesn't count.
  • by Kesch ( 943326 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:36PM (#15565467)
    For those who don't RTFA, you really should read the text of the 'Kaiser memo for a good chuckle.

    "The Post is not in a pot of water, and we're smarter than the average frog, but we do find ourselves swimming in an electronic sea where we could eventually be devoured -- or ignored as an unnecessary anachronism. Our goal, obviously, is to avoid getting boiled as the electronic revolution continues."

    Now, I think the fundamental problem with this metaphor is that frogs have no business swimming in the sea, electronic or otherwise. That should be left to select e-turtles.
    • The metaphor refers to an old story about an odd behavior in frogs. If you attempt to place a frog in a pot of hot water it will try to escape, if you place that same frog in a pot of cool water and slowly heat it up to a boil, the frog will supposedly make no attempt to leave.
  • by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:37PM (#15565469) Homepage Journal
    It was August 1992. There were no wireless laptops, no BlackBerries, no blogs, no rush to flip on cell phones as soon as your plane hit the runway. Yet, in his hand-written memo, sparked after attending an Apple-organized conference in Hakone, Japan, Kaiser took a peek into a crystal ball of technology and proposed that the company "design the world's first electronic newspaper."

    1992? What a joke! The folks at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram [], with help from some local techies [], produced "the world's first electronic newspaper" in 1982!

    From the usual source []:
    StarText was an online ASCII-based computer service that was officially launched on May 3, 1982 by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Tandy Corporation. Its name was derived from Star representing the newspaper which would provide the content and Text representing the computer company which would provide the technology.

    StarText was marketed in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex newspaper circulation area of North Texas, USA. It quickly evolved into an electronic magazine written by unpaid journalists who had paid to be subscribers of the service. Its eventual demise came with the growth of the Internet. In May of 1996 an additional Internet service was offered and called StarText. Net with the original service being rebranded as StarText Classic. The original service finally closed down on March 3, 1997 and in June of 1998, StarText. Net morphed into Star-Telegram Online Services which in turn eventually became a conventional online Internet service of the Knight-Ridder group.

    1992... we had y'all beat by ten years.
  • by NewsWatcher ( 450241 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:45PM (#15565509)
    The rise of the internet news over newspaper has meant far more than just a different format for the delivery of news. It has meant that far more than in the past news is being delivered by wire services like Reuters, AP, AFP etc. This is fine as far as it goes, but as wire services can deliver news cheaply to many different sites, it makes for some pretty uniform coverage of many events. Websites can't afford to send their own reporters, so are increasingly relying on the wires to do the leg work for them. Just take a look at Google News any day of the week to see how many of the stories are exactly the same. I love reading my favourite news online, but I rue the day that great newspapers become a conduit for delivering the wires withough delving into the investigative pieces that truly change society.
    • by Omega ( 1602 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:04PM (#15565593) Homepage
      Not sure about everyone else, but I still subscribe to the paper New York Times. I read it on the way into work, I read it in the hammock in the back yard, I read it in Starbucks. Having the electronic version available is great if I want to copy or reference something on my computer, but as far as "getting" my news goes, its still the paper version for me.
      • I used to subscribe to a paper (and before that, I bought it out of the machine where I used to live, almost every day), but now I just buy it irregularly on the weekends because I can't find the time to read it.

        Compared to pulling open another window on my computer's screen and typing in a Web address, actually carrying around a paper and futzing around with flipping pages seems like a lot of work. I'm sure that sounds like the height of laziness (and I suppose I could easily imagine the reverse situation:
      • A paper newspaper has two clear advantages over its electronic rivals:- (1) it's much more effective as a spider-swatter, and (2) when you've finished reading it you can use it to wipe your arse.
    • There is one overwhelming plus to internet news replacing newspapers. Manufacturing newsprint for newspapers is a single handed ecological disaster. Bowater, one of the biggest U.S. producers produced 2.7 million metric tons of newsprint in 2005. Trees the world over will breath a sigh of relief if the Internet replaces newspapers.

      Now we just need to get rid of coal fired power plants to generate the electricity we need for our computers, and come up with readers that actually work as well as newspapers
      • If I could just subscribe to the coupons and not the rest of the paper, I'd be set. That's the only reason I buy the Sunday paper anymore. I read it all online before I buy it and take the coupons out.
        • Its not like you are paying for the coupons by buying the newspaper. The companies who make them should be delighted at the prospect of putting them online and making you use your expensive color printer ink to print them. They can easily rig and restrict them so you can't abuse them. They just overcharge the people without the coupons and make a slightly smaller profit on the people that do use them.

          There must be some marketing rationale for coupons, but me personally I hate the whole idea, especially s
      • Trees the world over will breath a sigh of relief if the Internet replaces newspapers.

        Many newspapers are made with recycled paper.

        and come up with readers that actually work as well as newspapers when you are on a subway commuting.

        And also cheap enough so you can leave them around in public without worrying about them being stolen, like you can with a real paper.
    • The wire services are a big part of what I see as the problem. I understand that not every paper can keep up with the NYT and such, but so many news casts and papers and sites are so close to straight wire service copies it's insane. It doesn't cost a fortune to send an article across the world. News papers could team up (like sister papers).

      There are other things that drive me off. What I see as a very clear bias is one thing. This is both a political bias (most outlets are liberal to varying degrees, alt

      • Reporting on good news is nothing more than glorified human interest bullshit. What's the point? All the viewer can do is just vaguely acknowledge it and move on. "Yeah, it sure is good that thing happened."

        Furthermore, why the hell should a person care about local news? Given the choice between a story that effects a the entire world and a story which effects one percent of one percent of the world, I think it's obvious which story is more important.
        • You don't have to spend 10 minutes on each new school built in Iraq, but you could actually point out that it happens. If you only got information about Iraq from news casts you'd think the entire country was a warzone covered in IED with people being killed everywhere and no improvements going on.

          As for local news, I agree international news is important. My point was that making my local paper less local just gives me less reason to read it.

    • far more than in the past news is being delivered by wire services like Reuters, AP, AFP etc.

      I don't think this happened as recently as you think it has. Print newspapers have been relying on wire copy for a large amount of their content for a long time now, since well before the growth of the Internet. You didn't think your local small-city paper sent its own reporters to Washington D.C. or the Middle East, did you?

  • Next gen newspaper (Score:2, Interesting)

    by planckscale ( 579258 )
    I'd like to see the electronic newspaper that people read in the Minority Report. You know, headlines appear on the front page as they happen. Advertisements are geared towards your interests, flashes and bulletins interrupt your reading and it's all done wirelessly. Who says you have to have an input device to read articles on the net?

    • That sounds like the most annoying news-reading experience I can conjure in my imagination.

      Minority Report annoyed me because it reminded me how annoying the future is going to be.
    • Wonderful, the future will be a continual CNN Headline News - no background information, no context, nothing that would illuminate the "whys" - just "what's happening now".

      That's entertainment, not news.

  • Wapo is pretty good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:59PM (#15565565) Homepage Journal
    As a New Yorker, I started out reading mostly the New York Times. However Wapo has consistently led in innovations in the industry. Coupled with their world class journalism, blogs, all kinds of reader feedback, and most importantly -- leaving the content free, has let me to turn to them as must read on my long list of news sources each morning.

    The NY Times has walled off their editorial and I have seen my interest in the paper slowly wane.

    Happy 10 years Wapo!
    • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:11PM (#15565624) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, the NYTimes started losing me when they walled off their editorial section. After awhile I didn't miss it at all, in the age of the blogger who is really going to pay for yet more random pontification from a supposed 'expert'?
      • Yeah, who needs to know what people in positions of power are thinking when we can find out most 16 year olds don't like Bush?
        • Because people in positions of power blog too. Quite a few Democratic House members blog on Daily Kos, for example. You're talking about the average blogger. The New York Times isn't competing with the average blogger, the only one competing with the average blogger is the average blogger. The NYT is competing with the likes of Paul Graham. And the likes of Paul Graham will eventually win.
          • But Congressional Democrats have no power :P

            I see where you're coming from, but there's still time while blogs settle from the undifferentiated mass of crap into something decent. For now, I see very little to get from them outside of the pleasures of a feedback loop.

            I hate feedback loops.
            • True, but Republicans blog too, I just don't know where because I don't pay attention to that type of stuff. I picked the Kos because I remember some reference to a local House member's blog posts there(mentioning him as one in many) in a newspaper article unrelated to blogging.
        • Most of the people writing editorials in the NYTimes have no special qualifications. Yes, it takes more time and more thought to find voices on blogs that you can trust, but ultimately if you are deciding that the editors of the NY Times are better just because they were hired by the NY Times you probably have bigger problems.
      • who is really going to pay for yet more random pontification from a supposed 'expert'?

        It's not really the expertise of the op-ed columnist per se. The columnists serve, more often than you'd think, as a kind of conduit for ex-big shots, real experts, and government insiders who want to leak their analyses. The op-ed columnist gets to pass it off as their own insight, and it end up a win-win situation for the both.

    • <rant>

      I just cancelled my print subscription recently.

      I found that their printing of unconfirmed rumors regarding Haditha, for which investigations are still ongoing, on the front page above the fold on 26May to be reprehensible yellow journalism.

      To be sure, the issue is grave, and bears full disclosure, without coverups.

      The US armed forces deserve to be both accountable, and innocent until proven guilty.

      WaPo's wet-blanket read on the subsequent snuffing of Al-Zarqawi was the proverbial straw.

      These Wa
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:00PM (#15565570)
    The alternative [] is even worse, and it ain't bloggers.
  • ... there've been some rough spots, but overall they've done a good job.
  • "We learned a major lesson -- neither your server nor your vendor should be so far away that you can't kick them."

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:25PM (#15565685)
    But that's exactly what's wrong with so many news-ish web sites. I don't want to have to wade through an unqualified conversation about facts and events, I simply want the facts. At least on slashdot there is a moderation system, and a pretty good understanding of the prevailing local culture - that means that when I want a "conversation" about the news, I can come and get one. Or go elsewhere. For a hoot, I could go to Drudge as a springboard to all sorts of spun conversations.

    But a first rate "news" source (like the front page of the WP) shouldn't require me to wonder who is conversing with whom, that particular day. The Washington Post is my "local" paper, here in suburban Maryland. My gut sense, having read the paper for over 30 years, is that the web-based conversation they are now hosting has been eroding their editorial spine. Ironically, I've traditionally disliked their editorial positions - but they were consistent, and I had a sense of how that was going to shape their coverage decisions. Now, they seem to be thrashing around quite a bit.
  • by bfwebster ( 90513 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:29PM (#15565701) Homepage
    I lived in Washington DC from July 1996 to August 1998, then from December 1999 to August 2005--a total of about seven years. During all that time, I subscribed to both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal; both would come every morning by 6 am, and I would eat breakfast standing up and going through both papers pretty thoroughly--paging through every section, scanning headlines, reading articles that interested me. I did this in spite of reviewing an increasing number of on-line news sites and blogs each day.

    I moved to Parker, Colorado, in August 2005. Parker is about 25 miles from downtown Denver. My WSJ delivery shifted from early morning to coming in the mail--which meant that I got each day's edition in the afternoon, if I got it at all (sometimes it wouldn't come until the next day). I didn't even try to get the WP; instead, I signed up for a 'weekend' subscription to the Rocky Mountain News (largely for movie listings). And when my WSJ subscription came up for renewal, I let it lapse for this simple reason: by the time the WSJ came and I had a chance to read it, I had already been exposed to most of the news stories that interested me via the web.

    I now have in my bookmarks roughly 140 news, information, commentary and blog sites, all of which I review at least once a day, and about 25% of which I review multiple times a day. I miss having the Post and the WSJ at my door before 6 am each morning; navigating their web sites is not as easy as reading the newspaper, and could I get them here that early, I would still subscribe to both, even at the combined rate of $200-300/year. But getting the WSJ in mid-afternoon just isn't worth it, and the Post would be even more delayed. So after a lifetime of reading newspapers (I'm 53), I've largely given up on them. ..bruce..

    • by .com b4 .storm ( 581701 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:53PM (#15565790)

      I now have in my bookmarks roughly 140 news, information, commentary and blog sites, all of which I review at least once a day

      Congratulations! You officially have no life! :)

      • I now have in my bookmarks roughly 140 news, information, commentary and blog sites, all of which I review at least once a day
        Congratulations! You officially have no life! :)
        Well, yeah, my friends and relatives have known that for years. :-) ..bruce..
    • I can feel your pain. I currently live in Silver Spring. I get the NY Times every morning and pick up the WSJ and WP from time to time when I come across it. I prefer reading the newspaper to trying to figure out what to bother to read on the websites. This is especially true because the websites will be updated frequently and I find myself reading an article that isn't really worth the little bit of update it provides. I do enjoy some specific blogs and alternative news sites. I try to discipline myself to
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:30PM (#15565705) Homepage
    Reminds me of a minister leading off a church newsletter by saying "Some feel that the church is old-fashioned in today's modern fast-paced world, but starting next month we are going to make use of contemporary technology to spread the Good News and help parishioners stay in touch. Yes, we are going to put a up what is known as 'web site' on the international communications system known as the Internat. Any one with a 'modem' will be able to 'download' our newsletters. It is not so different from the letters Paul used to communicate with the early churches, but instead of ink and paper we will use electrons moving at the speed of light."
  • Lots of people are dropping static newspapers in favor of Web editions, even of the same content, because then they can google what they see in the news. The Washington Post, along with the New York Times and most every other news outlet, has accelerated that move by publishing more and more material that depends on reader fact checking and cross reference.
  • by massysett ( 910130 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @09:31PM (#15565929) Homepage
    The Washington Post is an excellent newspaper with an outstanding editorial staff. It's a shame that their website wastes the paper's editorial resources.

    Start with the home page. It's impossible to scan the thing. There are a few big stories at the top of the page, and then the bottom of the page falls into a huge morass of links arranged in multiple columns. The eye gets lost in this junkpile, and the little five-word headlines generally provide no context for the stories. Why don't these guys look at online-only news sites, like CNET or Yahoo News? They're much better organized and easier to scan for interesting news.

    Bad layout isn't all that's bad about the website though. Take the ads for example. You'd think that with the registration data they demand from users, they could serve targeted, useful ads. Nope--instead I always get the same ads for mortgage refinancing--how useful for an apartment dweller. Or you'd think that they could use the content of the news stories to serve up targeted ads--wouldn't advertisers pay a lot for that? If I'm reading, say, a story about computers, serve up computer ads; or if I'm reading Steve Barr's "Federal Diary" column, serve up ads for federal employees' health insurance? Hasn't the Post learned anything from Google? Nope--it's always the mortgage refinancing ads. And these guys wonder why they're not making any money on the Web?

    Useless ads wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so irritating. All the Post's pages are littered with ads. They figure that annoying pop-ups aren't enough, so recently they started these irritating Flash ads that creep out, seizing a third of your browser window before receding. Are they trying to make it annoying? Is that what they've learned from powerhouse ad sellers like Google--annoying ads work? Did they really make that much money selling X10 camera ads?

    I look at the Post website because they still have the best local DC coverage. I avoid the Post website for anything else--sure, the Post covers the White House the best, but the AP does almost as good a job and I can get their stuff on the annoyance-free Yahoo News. The Post is intent on annoying its users with cluttered pages and as long as that's the case, craigslist and Google will eat them alive in the online world.
  • "We had an Internet bottleneck and the servers couldn't handle the traffic," said Mark Stencel, who went on to run the site's political coverage through the 2000 election. "We learned a major lesson -- neither your server nor your vendor should be so far away that you can't kick them."
  • There are lots of news sites on the web now, but the one thing that is a big problem for me is how long they retain these news stories. It seems that many 'news' sites (and many bloggers) don't care about archiving their information, and after a few days the story is gone. If I want to find old news stories, I would probably have better luck going to a library and using a *gasp* microfiche.

Forty two.