Thursday, November 6, 2008

Explanation for McClatchy newspaper sites running old stories

I've been noticing the strange phenomenon of local McClatchy web sites posting news stories that are sometimes two weeks old or older. (See here and here and here.)

Via email, McClatchy's Mark Seibel has a possible explanation:
"... there was a technology glitch that i believe has been resolved that caused archived stories attached to live stories (if this makes no sense just tell me) to post as if they were live stories at sites that hadn't run the archived stories previously. It has to do with something called content sharing and unanticipated consequences.

"To explain a bit more: in the DC bureau, we "attach" to a story previous stories related to the current story so readers can look at what else we've written on the topic. Then we "share" the stories with our other sites. If the other site hadn't published the "attached" stories, its publishing system would post them automatically so they'd be available to the reader. Not having any other instructions, it would post them as new stories. We hadn't anticipated that. The work around was to create an archive place for these stories to be posted to. The reason you might have noticed this recently is more sites are subscribing to our politics coverage."

UPDATE: In comments, one Kansas City Star reader isn't buying it:


Anonymous said...

At the KC Star it is intentional and this explanation is total BS. They have been recycling select stories now for months, and leaving others up for days on end with nothing but the post time changed.

Virtually every single story this has been done with were politically oriented stories (aditorials) and month old polls.

This is straight garbage because out of the hundreds of comments pointing it out and complaining about it, not a single one was ever acknowledged and absolutely no effort was ever made to even address it. It certainly didn't prevent them from editing the comments section and deleting unflattering mention of the situation though.

Anonymous said...

I can see this.... If they run stock quotes from 5 years ago, it has to make things look better. Yeah, relative truthyness. Just don't try to cash that at Starbucks.