Eric Zorn demonstrates how news organizations with significant archives can make news that connects the past and future, and helps us see how things change and don’t change. The noise that he mentions happening in telegraph lines happened with early dial-up connections, too.

The story seems simple, but it is food for thought.

Today, reporters get advance copies of presidential speeches, note minor changes in the margins, and then double-check the key quotes against what’s on their portable recorders. But in the mid-19th century, reporters not only had to rely on their notes, but also, often, on the transcription skills of various telegraph operators and their balky relay equipment. (via Gettysburg Address at 150: What did Lincoln say? –

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