The readers's editor on… the richness of digital archives bringing problems for readers and journalists | Curaduria de contenidos y Preservacion digital |
Once it was a journalist's lament that today's newspapers are tomorrow's fish and chip paper, a reflection on the ephemeral nature of news.

You won't find yesterday's news in the chippy any more. Where you will find it is in the digital archives of newspapers, and its force is anything but fleeting.

The Guardian's digital archive holds more than 1m articles. It's a rich resource of more than a decade's worth of print, podcasts and video material. And it is very popular. Nearly 40% of content viewed on the website is more than 48 hours old. However, all this readily accessible material does bring new difficulties for readers and journalists. I am going to look briefly at three of them.

First, judges have started ordering news organisations to remove material from their archives that they believe may prejudice a jury if members see it, for instance background material about an individual or individuals on trial.

A judge in one recent high-profile criminal case wrote a...