Monday, November 19, 2012

What is going on with The Miami Herald archive access? ... by gimleteye

Over the weekend, the blog Random Pixels wrote along the same lines as Eye On Miami: how the Miami Herald appears to be rewriting the history of its full-bore support for the Miami Marlins and its stadium boondoggle. Last week the Herald published a series of highly critical reports and opinions tied to the Marlins recent fire sale of players. The paper seemed to suggest citizens only gradually woke up to the abuse being inflicted by the Marlins and that it had been on the side of the public anger against the sordid stadium deal and its owners, all along.

That is not the case. Moreover, within its observation, Random Pixels struck a far more serious, important story: the strange disappearance of past Herald stories from the web and from its own archive section.

Perhaps there's a reason why the Miami Herald doesn't allow readers to access anything on its website that's more than three or four months old.

Because if they were able to go back 5 or 6 years, they'd be able to read Herald editorials that offer incontrovertible proof that the paper aided and abetted Jeffrey Loria and David Samson every step of the way in their Fleecing of Miami.

We thought we were the only ones to observe a steep decline in the availability of news reports from the Herald on web searches or through the Herald archive feature.

I'm not sure how to describe this phenomenon, except to note there is corporate intent involved.

Is it simply the case that the city's only daily newspaper has cut its staff so close to the bone, that no one is monitoring or updating the online archive of the paper?

Is it an implicit expression of anger, of its own, along the lines that the public does not have the right to free content the corporation paid for, no matter how old?

Or is it a deliberate attempt to make every day a new day in Miami, where nothing that said or written yesterday counts or applies, the equivalent of turning the Miami Herald into an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

Healthy journalism is a key component of our democracy, and the proliferation of non-paid sources of information are problematic. As one close reader remarked over the weekend, lamenting the Herald: "the paper is a shell of the shell that it was."

I know the mainstream media disdains blogs. It grudgingly shares its space with the audience for news. There are plenty of reasons, including one that goes along the lines: if you aren't paid, what is what you publish worth? But we bloggers embrace civic journalism for obvious reasons.

At The Miami Herald, journalists and staff are being required to accept forced furloughs. It is a steep pay cut any way you look at it, but one sold to employees as a necessary step to maintain the financial viability of the entire enterprise.

But limiting public access to the newspaper archives? Whose purpose does that serve?


Anonymous said...

I'll bet you can not find the well hidden US Century articles where they just couldn't ignore the story of the fleecing of the US Taxpayers in the biggest con job of the largest Florida Bank bail out which will go un repaid along with the cheerleader articles pushing for miami dade taxpayer funding for this abysmal privately held franchise in the same spot! And I'm well aware of the run on sentence because it's just all the same to me with their editorial board!

Anonymous said...

Look no further than today's Port Miami propaganda for an example of the bs coverage the Herald is so good at when they want to. The Herald is also good at investigative journalism and kicking butt when they want to. I feel sorry for the professionals still working there who care and do a great job. This has always been the case. Do continue to push back on boosterism articles with blogs like this and also letters to the editor and opinion pieces. The Herald is a business but it is also a community institution. Blogs can keep them (somewhat) honest. Eventually.

Al Crespo said...

I think the problem is financial as much as anything. I've learned to copy articles that I think I might want to reference in the future because of this problem.

In the end it's just one more indication of both the growing irrelevance and marginalization of a once good paper.

Five years from now, I suspect that the Herald - and other papers from around the country - will have reached a conclusion that the only way they can survive will be to reach out to bloggers in their communities and offer to subsidize some of their efforts as a way to cover their communities.

Every day, the blogs are eating the Miami's Herald's ass.

Bill said...

I should clarify that the Herald archives all their stories.

And, if you have a Miami-Dade library card you can go into the library database and find every Herald story going back to 1982...for free.

And while the Herald stories do disappear from the website after a few months, they are still available for a price. But how many people want to take the time or pay to do that? Very few, I'm sure.

The point I was trying to make is that a casual, unsophisticated reader of the paper's website won't find anything more than a few months old. And I'm sure that's the way the Herald bosses would like to keep it.

Al Crespo said...


At the same time, thew Miami New Times makes ALL of it's stories available on line. They wrote about me in 1993, and that story is still available.

Diggy said...

The priorities of the Herald are all screwed up. They dumped their hard news and investigative reporters but they kept full-time staff member (Steve Rothaus) to do a gay news blog. What's up with that?

The Herald CEO Kevin McClatchy is an out-of-the closet flaming gay rights advocate so the Herald's gay blog reflects his skewed priorities. What a shame!

Bill said...

"At the same time, the Miami New Times makes ALL of it's stories available on line."

So, what's your point? All of the Herald stories are available for free online for anyone who wants to go to the trouble of getting a library card...which is also free, by the way.

Gimleteye said...

To all our fellow bloggers, thanks for the comments. The Herald articles used to be available through google searches; even those behind their firewall ... and the paper ought to reconsider allowing its intellectual property to be freely accessed after its timeliness expires. It's like fruit fallen from a tree: of no use except as seeds.

Anonymous said...

The Marlins Stadium and Garages will cost taxpayers over $3 BILLION in payments of interest and principle on the bonds sold to pay for the construction and soft costs. The Miami Herald was a promoter of the one sided scam every step of the way. The Herald consistently wrote editorials telling commissioners to approve diverting the taxpayers money to Jeff Loria and his midget ex-son-in-law Davvey Samson.