This is the VOA Special English Technology Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglishIf researchers want to know whathappened on a particular day, they often look at newspapers from that day. But what would happen ifnewspapers stopped publishing?Future researchers would likely turnto the Web. The Wayback Machine at Archive.org has for years archivedwebsites. But it only does this oncea day for news sites, and even less-often for other websites. Twenty-nine year old reporter Ben Welsh decided to create a site similar to Archive.org. But he wanted to archive only news sites. And he wanted to save their homepages more often. Ben Welsh works for the Los Angeles Times. In May he created PastPages.org. His website saves the homepages of seventy news websites from around the world, once an hour. Ben Welsh says this schedule of what he calls "harvesting" is important in today's quickly changing news environment. "Over the course of a day, the narrative arc of a news story can develop quite a bit," he says. He says no one had ever saved the homepages of so many news sites so often, and made that material available to the public. He hopes to keep adding to the site until it is archiving material from up to three hundred sites. Ben Welsh spendsabout sixty dollars a month on storage space for PastPages.org. He feared the cost would increase beyond what he could afford, so he asked people for help through Kickstarter. People use that website to seek money for creative projects. Within about a week, he had gotten all of the five thousand dollars he had asked for -- and more. Ben Welsh says he will use the money to expand his website. He hopes to build some features specifically targeted to media researchers and media critics.Stephanie Bluestein was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She is now an assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge. She believes PastPages.org will prove to be a valuable resource. Now you could look hour-by-hour and see the placement of the lead story, how the headline changed and how different newspapers played the story. "Now you can actually compare," she says. Professor Bluestein says news today changes so quickly, even archiving once an hour may soon not be enough. For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. To learn English and get more technology news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 11Jun2012)
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