MTV News Writers Lament Site Archives Being Pulled Down: ‘Infuriating,’ ‘Beyond Depressing’

MTV, which at its peak included regular breaking news updates from anchors including Gen X icon Kurt Loder, shuttered its news division last year and on Tuesday announced it was also deleting decades of online archives.

Reaction was swift and strong: “Infuriating is too small a word,” former MTV News Music Editor Patrick Hosken said on X. He lamented, “Eight years of my life are gone without a trace. All because it didn’t fit some executives’ bottom line.”

Although he noted the existence of the Internet Archive, which has been documenting now-dead sites for decades, he wrote, “This is a huge loss not for just me (obviously) but for the dozens & dozens of hardworking people who built MTV News, who made it THE music news voice through the years.”

Writer and comedian Gini Sikes wrote on Instagram, “Beyond depressing…
Who willingly wipes out decades of cultural history?” She mentioned some of the documentaries she worked on for MTV News, including 2000’s Emmy-nominated “Choose or Lose” episode about what political candidates were like as teens. In 1992, the doc series won a Peabody Award for “enfranchising a previously disenfranchised group,” as young people were less often addressed directly by politicians at the time.

“A few months ago when I heard of this viral ‘book burning,’ I reached out to former coworkers to learn if anybody had a copy, in any format, but none exist,” Sikes said.

She continued, “For better or worse, MTV changed the world and youth culture… MTV exposed young people to music, art, and politics beyond their town.” She also wondered why the material wasn’t shared with the Museum of Television or the Smithsonian.

And it’s not just former employees who are mourning the deletion of the MTV News archives.

Filmmaker Michael Varrati tweeted, “For a whole generation, the slamming typewriter keys that signaled breaking MTV News are inextricably linked to our memories of crucial moments in pop culture and world history. Whether on-air or online, to not have this presence or archive anymore is a considerable loss.”

Another IG user commented on Sikes’ post that the deletion is “literally an act of social war.” Comedian Yvette Lovstad (aka velvettytoads) said, “It’s an intentional scrubbing of history. MTV is what made Gen X and the reason why we fought so hard to buck the social norms set by the generations before us.”

Lew Nuzzie wrote on Facebook, “ is gone. Kaput. Wiped off the face of the Earth. It’s as if MTV never existed. (It’s the same for, all gone.) There’s no precedent for this, and no valid reason. Just cheapness and stupidity.”

“This is the world we live in now, hurtling toward ‘Idiocracy,'” wrote Collier Joe on Facebook, referencing Mike Judge’s dystopian 2006 comedy.

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