LA Times developer creates site to archive news home pages

PastPages
News nerds may want to call in sick today. (If you compared home page treatments of the Casey Anthony verdict, I’m talking to you.) Ben Welsh, a developer for the Los Angeles Times, has built a site that saves images of the home pages of about 70 news sites every hour. You can look at the Drudge Report home page hour by hour (!), see all aggregators, or compare all the home pages at noon on May 1. Welsh explains why he did it:

I cre­ated this site be­cause I think it ought to ex­ist. The shift­ing homepages of ma­jor me­dia sites should be saved so they can be stud­ied. Done right, I be­lieve Pas­t­Pages could serve as a re­source for schol­ars seek­ing to study cov­er­age of news events, like the up­com­ing U.S. pres­id­en­tial elec­tion.

Welsh is using Kickstarter to seek donations for servers and bandwidth; so far he’s raised about $1,000 of his $5,000 goal. He has ideas beyond just saving images of the pages, such as archiving the HTML of the pages and perhaps offering bulk downloads so media scholars can analyze media coverage.

Disclosure: Poynter has offered to help support the site.

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