Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Anchorage Daily News Returns, After Three Years As The Alaska Dispatch News

For the last three years I've stumbled over the name Alaska Dispatch News.  Just Friday night, as I stumbled yet again, my daughter said, "Everyone I know calls it the "Anchorage Daily, I mean, Alaska Dispatch News."

And that night I got the message that the Anchorage Daily News was returning today.  So here are screenshots of the last edition of the Alaska Dispatch and the first of the resurrected Anchorage Daily News. (There is not Saturday paper, but that happened under the Dispatch name.)

One of the problems I had after the first name change in this new electronic age, was that when looking up old articles, the top bar said Alaska Dispatch News, even though the article was published in the Anchorage Daily News.  People who didn't know Alaska would cite the article as being in the Alaska Dispatch News, when it really wasn't.  

As I checked an ADN article I linked to last week, when it was published under the name Alaska Dispatch News, the banner now is Anchorage Daily News.  Same issue, now in reverse.

Even worse, I checked on this, looking up an old article I linked in 2013, I got this.

Wow, that's even worse than mixing up the name and dates.  Now it's just gone.  I hope they can go back and reroute people using the old url to the new url.  Talk about losing history.

Maybe I'm just to picky, but I think, as an academic, that it matters.  Some part of 'the record' has been corrupted.

Another, more vexing issue for me, is dates.  Articles in the print and electronic editions often are dated a day apart.  An article may go online after the print edition is done, and gets the date of when it goes online.  But that article in print, is dated the next day.  That's been a problem when I've read the print edition and then link on the blog to the online version of the story which has a different date than what I've cited for the print edition.  Sometimes I note the difference between the dates.

Another issue with online journalism is updates.  When you print a story on paper, the paper edition never changes.  There may be a later print notice of an error, but the old story is still there.
But online versions get updated.  Reputable online media note the update time and date.  But it isn't always clear what the change was.

On the blog, I don't necessarily mark spelling or grammatical corrections, or even minor style changes that make a sentence easier to understand, but don't change the substantive meaning.  When I do change substance, I strikeout the old version and [bracket the new version] so it's clear what was changed.

But technically, someone could go in and change the old stories and we wouldn't know.  What safeguards are there to rewriting history?  With paper editions archived in libraries, that couldn't happen.  But if there are no hard copies, it can.  Will cached versions still be available?  When will we know we have to check for the cached version?

Anyway, welcome back Anchorage Daily News.  It will be much easier to tell people where I read your articles again.


  1. Agreed. Troubling for all of us who do research.

  2. Steve, will you be writing for them?
    Thank you for the information.

  3. We just have to keep making noise in the right places and at the right times, Jacob.
    Ziba Bird, I have no plans to write for the new ADN.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.