Thursday, 4 January 2007

Let down by the BBC (again!)

I am bitterly disappointed to discover that the BBC do not archive news programmes and that as such old URLs now take viewers to a new item.

On a few occasions I have included clips from the BBC in my postings, most notably when I was urging readers to listen to Roman Halter, an Auschwitz survivor, describe how wonderful he found Britain after the war and how much he cherished our strong tradition of liberty. His eloquent eulogising of freedom of speech was all the more poignant as he was arguing that the Holocaust-denier David Irving should be free to write and say that Mr. Halter and his deceased relatives were figments of a Zionist plot.

On another occasion I used clips to support my criticism of the confusion between “anti-social behaviour” and actual crime.

Sadly these and other clips are no longer available, and the links now take one to the latest version of that news programme (be it One O’clock or Ten O’clock News) as broadcast on the day one clicks the URL, not back to the original programme that generated the URL when I wrote the article.

This is a shame. Good internet practice, especially in this most ephemeral of media, urges content providers to maintain good archives, and websites not to change URLs, for this very reason. I cannot believe that if YouTube can store thousands of new videos a day, the BBC cannot store its (surely much-more-popular) news items.

My apologies to readers who have been left confused and frustrated.

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