Every single day thousands of articles are removed from the internet.
Quietly, without any fanfare, hours and hours of journalists’ hard work disappears into the void forever.
They say the internet never forgets, and sometimes that is true. But publications can forget — or be forgotten.
Fact: Every single day thousands of articles are removed from the internet.
Whether it’s cutting down on their data storage, accidentally losing it transitioning into a website rebrand, or simply shutting down — there are dozens of reasons your work could go missing with no notice.
It’s painful when it happens — but solving the problem can bring some other benefits to you as a journalist. Here’s five reasons why we think you need to be automatically backing up your articles — whether it’s evergreen or hot off the press.
1. Claw back control from publishers
It’s true that there are millions of pieces of content produced every day.
But it can’t all live forever exactly as it is now. The industry is changing, and more than ever, control over content lives in the hands of publishers, advertising dollars, and social media platforms.
In no medium can this be seen more clearly than in local news reporting. Since 2004, more than 1 in 5 local papers in the US have shut down, and circulation is down 38%. Everyone knows the value of the local press to the community it speaks to — but when they can’t afford to stay in existence, the valuable commodity of information becomes harder to obtain for those who need it.
More strikingly, 59% of journalists at small publications in the US reported a decline in the size of their newsrooms between 2014 and 2017 — and with all the pivots to video and algorithm strategy adjustments that have followed, it’s hard to imagine the trend improving. Quality news is shrinking while content is booming.
This is the antithesis of the spirit of journalism — but journalists are losing out just as much as readers, with decades of work being quietly and permanently removed from circulation every day. Despite huge changes in the industry, the power balance between publications and journalists is as tilted as ever before.
As a journalist, you are defined by the content you produce — but what does that mean if you can’t actually prove it ever existed? Thousands upon thousands of journalists are producing incredible articles every day, but are already at risk of being left with nothing to show for their hard work.
Journalists are losing out just as much as readers, with decades of work being quietly and permanently removed from circulation every day.
One way to start clawing back power from your publishers is to stop depending on them to host your content forever with automated article backups.
2. Paywalls are becoming ubiquitous, making access to your own content difficult over time
More and more publishers are going behind paywalls — and that’s great. Quality journalism needs to be paid for, many readers are willing to do so, and it’s working out for a huge number of publications.
The downside? Not everyone can pay for everything, especially journalists just wanting a way to retain access to their own work.
As more publishers jump behind the paywall, over time the journalism you’ve filed all across the web will slowly creep up in price — is it right that you should have to pay hundreds, or potentially thousands, of dollars a year just for the ability to access your greatest hits?
3. Always have your best work right at hand
At this point in time, pretty much everyone is online — so every journalist needs a portfolio (or two, or ten) of their best work. They are great for networking, organisation, and are the perfect way to introduce your work to a new reader.
But what if the publication hosting your work shuts down, or cuts down on data — leaving your hard-crafted work lost to the void?
If it’s backed up and stored independently, you’re back in control of your content, and free to use it however you like.
4. Stand out from the crowd
According to some estimates, more than two million news articles are posted online every day. That’s one article for each person in the US, twice every year. Without even getting into newsletters, blogs, podcasts, tweet threads, and of course the still-standing monolith of print media — that’s a lot of content.
So, are you doing everything you can to make your voice heard in the crowd?
Having a portfolio is one thing — but even better is a tailored collection of your content that can speak perfectly to a current news moment — and a potential reader starved for information.
You’ve got your own beat of expertise, so use it (and don’t lose it!)
5. Your work can have a second life on social media
Remember that interview you did years ago, before the news cycle caught on and made your research even more pertinent? That thinkpiece that foretold events to come so accurately that you may well be Nostradamus of opinion journalism? And that first bit of reporting you did on the big story you’re covering?
The shift from news reporting to social media isn’t purely a bad thing — these same readers are waiting for your stories on their timelines.
Almost half of us now get our news from social media, compared to just a third reading print newspapers. Increasingly every year, this is how information is most readily available to the largest amount of people.
With your articles permanently backed up, you’ll never miss another chance to show off your sharp journo instincts to the biggest audience possible — with an engaged social crowd, you’ll be surprised how far your wonderful evergreen content can travel.
Want to take back control of your content? Authory can help. Get everything backed up permanently with a 14-day free trial at authory.com