The Associated Press reports that modern audio recordings, including recorded oral histories, are at much greater risk of being corrupted and lost forever than are the old, analog recordings made on tape and other archaic media. The article points out that DVD and CD media begin to degrade and lose data in as little as five years.
The same can be said about one’s digital photographic files. One of the benefits of my methodology of shooting on film, scanning the image and then creating the digital photograph is that I have the analog film media to back up my image files. Also, I print my pictures using carbon pigment ink, which is less prone to degradation than the dye based inks typical to ink jet printers.