Washington Post investigates disappearance of The Hook website
It’s a bit of “a murder mystery,” said McNair, who joined forces with Spencer, Stuart and other old colleagues from the Hook this summer to investigate what happened.
For months, my old colleagues and I at The Hook have been trying to figure out what happened to the defunct newspaper's website, which suddenly vanished in June after remaining online for nearly a decade. Now Paul Fahari at The Washington Post has investigated our investigation. We are grateful to the nearly 1200 people who signed our petition about this, which made this story possible, and to Fahari and the Post for not giving up on it.
“Journalism is supposed to be the rough first draft of history,” Sean Tubbs, a journalist who relied on the Hook’s old stories to build a database for the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, told the Post. “When someone ostensibly paid to kill the archive, they cut off a direct link for the public to learn from these articles.”
From the Post - In many ways, the erasure of the alternative weekly, whose print and online journalism ranged from nightlife listings to deep investigative work, isn’t unusual. Historians have long warned about the decay of digital news archives, which are increasingly falling victim to mishandling, indifference, bankruptcies and technical failures.
But some of the Hook’s founding journalists suspect the archive didn’t simply expire from natural causes. They think someone paid to kill it.
"It’s a bit of “a murder mystery,” said McNair, who joined forces with Spencer, Stuart and other old colleagues from the Hook this summer to investigate what happened. Read more.
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