Reply-To: <>
From: "John Van Bogart" <>
To: "'Katherine Cochrane'" <>
Cc: "'DuBois, Peg'" <>, "'Dan Sprick'" <>
Subject: Update on "Short Life Expectancy" Articles
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 10:03:10 -0500X-
Priority: 3 (Normal)
Importance: Normal

Hi Katherine,

Thank you for sharing the copy of you Letter to the Editor of Business Week. I appreciate the fact that you took the time to write this letter. I amgetting tired of addressing media mis-information and was not planning to respond to the Business Week article. I was successful in getting a Letter to the Editor of US News & World Report published, but it didn't appearuntil a month after I had submitted it. And, who knows how many people sawit? (see reference below). [n.b. This page is no longer available.]

I also want to let you know that the NML web site has changed. The LE/Disposition charts used as the source of this mis-information andarticles containing these charts have been removed from our site. Regardingthe LE of magnetic tape and optical disc, we now have a very simple statement, which you can see at the reference below. [n.b. This page is no longer available.]

It is unfortunate that these resources had to be removed from our site. It is a shock to me, but I am realizing that most Americans (including reporters) do not know how to correctly interpret a technical chart. This is why we have taken the "simple" approach to the question of media longevity. We are not sure whether we will be sharing technical reports with the general public via the Internet in the future.

I am also learning that you cannot trust or believe the press. It is obvious that they are not interested in the truth as much as they are sensational stories that get attention. They do not keep the information that they present in context. They seem to stress the worst aspects of digital storage and ignore all of the benefits.

Recently, NML has discovered what appears to be the source of this rash of mis-information. It is part of a "publicity campaign" by the Council on Library and Information Resources ( to promote a documentary entitled "Into the Future." Refer to the "Discussion Guide" that you used to be ablefind on this page -- [n.b. This page has apparently now been moved or removed.]

I will also FAX you a copy of a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Postby Deanna Marcum, the President of CLIR, which will give you an idea of the Council's agenda. They seem determined to prevent paper and film archives from going "digital" because digital media does not have the same longevity as paper. They apparently see this as a problem.

What they fail to mentionis that with proper storage and handling and a transcription plan, relatively short (20-30 year) media and technology lifetimes do not pose athreat to the preservation of information, as their "Into the Future" video implies. NML has corresponded with CLIR in an effort to get them to correct the information that they are publishing and attributing to NML, but they do not seem interested in the truth either.

I will FAX you copies of the letters of correspondence between NML and CLIR. They still have not responded to the last letter that we sent. Considering that CLIR is apparently behind much of the mis-information appearing in the press (you will find that the wording in magazine and newspaper articlesis very similar to that in CLIR letters and publications), I suggest that theybe the recipient of several letters from digital media manufacturers and organizations.

As I learn more, I will let you know. It is good to know that I have an ally in this "media" mess. Please share this information freely with others.

Best Regards,

John Van Bogart
National Media Laboratory
Phone: (612) 733-1918
FAX: (612) 575-1644

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