Friday, 5 February 2010

Due diligence needed for newspapers

Last year around this time I had a series of gripe postings. Maybe a year has mellowed me, maybe things have improved, maybe the news about the Ottawa Citizen on Google has me on a high, but I don't have a week's worth of things to complain about this year.

My brother brought me this poster from the library in Darwin, Australia. Together with the National Library of Australia's initiative on newspaper digitization initiative it constitutes more evidence of Australia's recognition of the importance of newspapers for national heritage.

Ask any politician or senior public servant and they'll tell you they watch the media like hawks. To be in a position to understand our history you need to know how the community is responds, as well as the actual proposals and actions of governments at various levels. While preservation of government records receives high priority nationally, and at other governmental levels in Canada, newspapers are being neglected.

The Librarian and Archivist of Canada should be ashamed of the lack of leadership and outright neglect that institution shows for newspapers. So should the Archivist of Ontario for the Archives which has systematically ignored newspapers for decades.