The Washington Post Gets Moldier By the Moment
Newspapers are getting killed these days. Budgets are shifting from print to interactive, classified ad sites such as Craigs' List are eating their lunch, and Bloggers, not editors, are becoming daily "must reads," but you're not likely to read the news that newspapers are headed for the graveyard in a newspaper, because, well, these poor blokes just don't get the fact that they've been overtaken by events.
I have a fair amount of respect for The Washington Post - in fact, it's one of only two or three newspapers I read every day on the Web. I also think it's technology sections are pretty good - Washington isn't exactly the center of the IT universe (although it's probably got more money passing through it from IT companies than any other place in the world).
The Post is a good paper that keeps its Website up to date, which makes the discovery of a major blight of ghostly bit rot smack dab in the middle of its Technology Section a major scandal (well, perhaps not a major one, but any bit rot on a newspaper site is a bad thing, because it belies the oft-stated claim that these old media folks have a clue when it comes to interactive media).
Check out the Technology Section's "@Work" ("at work") area, available for inspection at:
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/technology/columns/atwork/. The lead story in this section "Aiming to Advance?," was written and posted more than 3 years ago. The other articles are even older. No content on this page can by any stretch of the imagination be called "news".
I wonder how many people stumbling across this area are misled into believing that the "news" items on this page are current? It boggles the mind that a big organization like the Washington Post can't keep its areas more up to date than it does, especially when it continues to book ads on these Ghost Pages (note the Intel "skyscraper ad" in the right-hand margin)!
Note: Carrie Johnson is a writer I've had occasional correspondences with and I have no bone to pick with her, in fact, I highly respect her. It's her bosses that I'm calling on the carpet here. They should either prominently label the "@work" section as an "archive of once current content," or otherwise identify it as a no-longer functional area so that people aren't tricked into believing that this material is current.
Labels: Old Media