Back in the mid-Sixties, Billy Joe Royal had a big hit with Joe South’s song “Down In The Boondocks”. A great song, a good lavish arrangement, although I prefer Joe South’s more minimalistic version, which it seems he recorded after Royal’s version became popular. Boondocks were supposed to be some kind of a backwater region nobody wanted to go or return to. Later the meaning transferred to any such place. In many administrative companies, as well as what they call now media outlets, and then mostly newspapers, that place was the archives.
I had myself a taste of a few newsrooms - if you were new, or you messed up something, particularly with fact checking, that is where you would end up for a certain period of time. That is unless you unearthed something in usually a big messy chaos that the archives in newspapers then represented, or somebody did something worse than you. Particularly as fact-checking was concerned.
Then, as you progress and actually learn something you realize you cannot be any kind of a journalist or a writer, lance or freelance, without a good archive. If it was your own, even better. A good writer would have rooms, even whole apartments full of article clippings, photos, even handwritten copies of documents, let alone notes taken.
That is why in these times of being able to stick complete archives on a hard drive, even a few USB sticks it would be a shame that as a freelance/journalist somebody would not create a serious database of the info they need. The level of sophistication available to us to us is such that you may need even to create an archive of what is available to you to meaningfully store the information that you need (and don’t need but want to have around anyway) - from simple and more detailed notebooks to apps like Evernote and 'clipping' sites like Medium and Flipboard you’re capabilities are almost limitless. Of course, that almost deals with how much you can intake and remember where you stored what. An organization system is then in order.
Ok, so it may sound like everything you hated when you were starting out. But then you were starting out, not realizing why you were having to listen to that Billy Joe Royal or Joe South interpretation of “Boondocks’. These days, you might even enjoy listening to the song.