BBC planning to flush 172 doomed web sites

The BBC is planning to destroy the entire content of 172 web sites without archiving them to save server space.

Jeremy Keith writes on his Adactio blog that the publicly-funded corporation intends to flush the sites, which have been axed as part of sweeping cost-cutting exercises, despite the fact that much of the content could be of interest in the future.

It was was common practice for the BBC to wipe original recordings on magnetic tape throughout the sixties and seventies, leading to many episodes of classic programmes being lost forever. Episodes of Doctor Who, Dad's Army and Steptoe and Son have all been consigned to the dustbin of history for the cost of a video cassette - and it seems that BBC management has learned nothing from their previous mistakes.

In many cases, precious footage was only saved by diligent BBC staff who had the foresight to squirrel away copies of the content for their own purposes.

One of the victims of the online cuts will be an archive of 47,000 people's memories of WW2, a move which goes beyond insanity to insensitivity, in our book.

We're living in austere times, but do we really need to delete our history for the sake of a few hard drives?

I can think of a few over-paid presenters whose gargantuan salaries would be better served preserving the past.