AP Archive

by Ed Sawicki - June 14, 2021

Gaza tower destroyed

In a stunning example of how NOT to manage your data responsibly, consider the Associated Press. Ian Phillips, Vice-president of International News with the Associated Press was interviewed on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday. He spoke about the media archive that was lost when the Israeli military destroyed the building that the AP's Gaza bureau was located in.

The archive consisted of thousands of photographs and videos going back decades and that it was “a huge loss to AP, a huge loss to journalism” and “a huge loss to society and historians...”

If it's such a huge loss, why was it not archived and backed up properly?

Why would AP locate a media archive in a single location that regularly undergoes military attacks? There are far safer locations including its infinitely safer headquarters in New York City.

Media recorded by AP in decades past were likely on analog media such as tape. If they were unwilling to duplicate tapes for archival in a safer location, they should not have located their archive in Gaza. Today, of course, their media is digital and copying to remote archives is far simpler. I wonder if they think to do that.


CNN: Inside the AP's meeting with Israeli officials

WGN: ‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza