Archiving the alternative press threatened by wealthy buyers
by Parker Higgins
Posted August 10, 2018
Freedom of the Press Foundation is launching an online archives collection in partnership with Archive-It, a service developed by the Internet Archive to help organizations preserve online content. Our collection, focusing on news outlets we deem to be especially vulnerable to “billionaire problem,” aims to preserve sites in their entirety before their archives can be taken down or manipulated.
To start our collection, we used Archive-It to crawl the entirety of Gawker.com, which we conducted amidst speculation that its archives might be purchased by a hostile party. Reported suitors have included Peter Thiel—who bankrolled the legal campaign that ultimately crushed the site—and more recently Mike Cernovich, who the site once described as a “D-list right-winger.”
We also captured a copy of L.A. Weekly shortly after its new owners—the identity of whom was initially concealed, even from its employees—restructured the operation and eliminated most of the writing jobs. More…