Launch of TV News Search & Borrow with 350,000 Broadcasts

Today the Internet Archive launches TV News Search & Borrow.  This service is designed to help engaged citizens better understand the issues and candidates in the 2012 U.S. elections by allowing them to search closed captioning transcripts to borrow relevant television news programs.

home page screen shotThe Internet Archive works to preserve the published works of humankind.  Inspired by Vanderbilt University’s Television News Archive project, the Internet Archive collects and preserves television news.  Like library collections of books and newspapers, this accessible archive of TV news enables anyone to reference and compare statements from this influential medium.

screen shot of search pageThe collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C.  The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired.  Older materials are also being added.

broadcast page

Use the index of searchable text and short, streamed clips to find programs to borrow on DVD-ROM or view at the Internet Archive’s library in San Francisco.

Print press:

Online:  Metafilter

Supporting Statements

“The Internet Archive’s TV news research service builds upon broadcasters’ public interest obligations. This new service offers citizens exceptional opportunities to assess political campaigns and issues, and to hold powerful public institutions accountable.”
— Newton Minow, former FCC Chairman

“You have to see this service to believe it – and even then, you may not. The Internet Archive has harnessed today’s extraordinary advances in computing power and storage capacity to capture virtually every national U.S. television news program and allow users to find and view short streamed clips on any subject. This easily searchable and sortable database will be a fantastic resource for journalists, researchers, librarians and news junkies alike.”
— Andrew Heyward, former president, CBS News

“The Internet Archive’s TV news research & service represents an unprecedented opportunity for the American public to take ownership over the news, to relive and reconstruct the past, to deconstruct the language and images of modern communication, and to gain a better understanding of one of the most powerful mediums in the world: Television.”
— Linda Winslow, Executive Producer of PBS NewsHour

“It expands transparency by making words and deeds captured on a historically hard-to-rewind medium easy to find and review. This searchable video library puts research tools once available to only a small media elite into the hands of average citizens, enabling us all make our leaders more accountable.”
— Ellen Miller, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation

“This initiative is destined to become an invaluable resource for journalists, civic organizations, and everyone who cares about transparency in politics and the media.”
— Catherine Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons

“This TV news archive is potentially a transformative pedagogical tool for the study of mass communications.”
— Shanto Iyengar, Stanford professor of Political Science and Communications

“The Internet Archive does the kind of public interest innovation that reminds you why the web is so wonderful. This project will enable students, researchers, and journalists to peer into TV news media like a crystal ball.”
— Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation

“The Internet Archive project brilliantly leverages an enormously important and, until now, largely untapped resource: years of closed-captioned news programming. Scholars, journalists, librarians, politicians and so many others will discover a mind-blowing tool for research, analysis, and accountability.”
— Dan Gillmor, author, columnist and professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication

“Those of us who work in the field of media accessibility for people with disabilities are thrilled to see closed captioning, created and fostered for societal inclusion, being repurposed to enrich our civic life.”
— Larry Goldberg, Director, Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH (NCAM)

“TV has unmatched influence on our democracy, but with this project the Internet Archive has brought a taste of democracy back to TV.”
— Craig Aaron, President & CEO, Free Press



17 thoughts on “Launch of TV News Search & Borrow with 350,000 Broadcasts

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  7. Rebecca Hedreen

    It looks like “stemming” is turned on by default. Is there an option to turn it off? I searched for “organic” (looking for stories on the organic food study) and got “organization” “organ donation” etc. (“Organic foods” as a search did turn up lots of results, so it wasn’t that there weren’t plenty of potential results.)

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