The Internet Archive Rescues MTV News’ Website, Making It Searchable Again

The Internet Archive MTV News
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The Internet Archive MTV News
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Photo Credit: MTV News via Internet Archive

After nearly all the past stories on MTV News’ site dating back to 1997 suddenly disappeared, the Internet Archive comes to the rescue.

Despite Paramount Global’s very corporate decision to purge MTV News’ online content, as well as that of Comedy Central, TVLand, and CMT, much of that content is now preserved in a searchable index on The Internet Archive. In particular, content over the last 27 years, dating back to 1997, had abruptly gone missing.

The Internet Archive now offers “a searchable index of 460,575 web pages previously published at mtv.com/news.” Notably, the archived content is not “the full complement of what was published over the span of two decades,” and some images in the archived pages are unavailable. But the preservation at least ensures that MTV News’ articles are still accessible in some form.

MTV News was shuttered in May 2023, having started in 1987 as a segment called “This Week in Rock” hosted by Rolling Stone print journalist turned music television correspondent Kurt Loder.

“I was working at Rolling Stone and everybody that wrote about rock music, as it was called at the time, had a very down point of view about MTV,” Kurt Loder told Rolling Stone. But his decision to commit himself to this new format gave him the opportunity to get to know artists like Madonna, Prince, and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. “You could just fly off anywhere you wanted and do all this stuff,” says Loder. “It was a great time. I’m not sure it’ll ever be back, but something else will.”

A lot has changed in the entertainment landscape alongside advancements in technology over the past 27 years. But if you’re old enough to have watched MTV on an actual television, then you remember the hit singles of 1997 — like Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” to memorialize Princess Diana — and what a loss all the coverage of that period really means for pop culture.

It’s a worrying moment in time, with the prevalence of corporate mergers pushing to oust traditional journalism’s place on the internet. But it’s comforting to know that places like The Internet Archive still exist to preserve it like a town library.