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Archiving Adds Value to Old News

Although more commonly used for compliance or as a safety net for lost information, archiving data can also drive revenue under the right circumstances.

That was the reason The Dallas Morning News decided to archive its data digitally. The newspaper selected Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology for its archiving after looking at faster disk and cheaper tape alternatives. (See Optical WORMs Into Enterprise). Bob Mason, the paper's director of publishing systems at the time of the project, says he found that UDO provided the most bang for the buck. The 50-year lifespan of its cartridges helped seal the deal.

"There's a myriad of technologies for archiving data," Mason explains. "If you take all of a company's assets and put it on media, will you be able to read it again?"

The Morning News decided to digitally archive its photo library as another source of income. It can sell photos that never make it into the paper or repackage stories and photos to sell to market research firms. The archive also plays a major role in the daily newspaper production. When Pope John Paul II died last April, editors pulled up every photo they had of him and picked the best to use in that day's edition.

According to Mason, having information readily available makes it much more valuable. "If I need to go offsite or go to Iron Mountain to find them, they're of no use to me."

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