Archiving: Meeting the Challenge of Digital Asset Management

A NEXPO conference panel looks to the future of all things archival.

DALLAS—One of the bigger challenges for a publisher and that most cited by attendees this week at the Newspaper Association of Americas NEXPO Newspapers 05 conference here is how to successfully archive images while saving space at the same time.

How does a company or publisher process, keep and manage all the data collected for a lifetime? And how does one do it economically and in an indexed format so that the data can be retrieved for repurposing? These were some of the questions posed by both attendees and participants at the packed "Archiving and Digital Asset Management" panel held on Saturday.

The most illuminating presentation came from Neil Mara, News Systems Director at the Charlotte Observer. His statement, "Were all engaged in a storage-versus-file-size arms race, and the goal is to stay ahead of the file-size curve," not only elicited nervous laughter but a short round of applause. This statement aptly summarized the prevailing challenge to the industry today.

Mara noted that what everyone is looking for is a better system of indexing and storage. He commented several times on the issue of saving outtakes and their uniqueness in regards to archival systems.

"We focus on keeping everything. We think outtakes are unique; we dont throw them away. If you think about it, in the old days of the business, we archived our outtakes in old shoe boxes of negatives—they werent disposed of, they were kept in those boxes, just in case," Mara said.

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