Author Archives: Roger Macdonald

NSA TV Clip Library


When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry.  Senator Ron Wyden May 26, 2011

Recent revelations of the extent of National Security Agency surveillance and weakening of our digital infrastructure give substance to the warnings of Senator Wyden and others. To assist journalists and other concerned citizens in reflecting on these issues, the Internet Archive has created a curated library of short television news clips presenting key statements and other representations.

NSA-issues TV News Quote Library

The experimental, Chrome and Safari only, library launches today with more than 700 chronologically ordered television citations drawn from the Archive’s television news research service. The TV quotes can be browsed by rolling over clip thumbnails, queried via transcripts and sorted for specific speakers. Citation links, context, links to source broadcasters and options to borrow can be explored by following the More/Borrow links on each thumbnail.

Knight Foundation Strengthens Support for Television News Research Service

Thanks to a recent $1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we will be expanding our TV News Search & Borrow service that enables everyone to search, quote and borrow U.S. television news programs.

Launched last September, the service repurposes closed captiFront Page frackingoning to facilitate deep search and present relevant short-streamed with clips from more than 400,000 news broadcasts dating back to June 2009. We are striving to help inform and engage communities by strengthening the work of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations and others dedicated to serving public interests.

We are beginning to see important public benefits arising from this new capability to apply digital search and aResults fracking 2nalysis to news from our most pervasive and persuasive medium—television. Journalists are better able to investigate significant persons and events. Documentarians are more effectively finding key news footage to license and use. Educators can now focus the critical attention of their students on extensive real-world examples of how news stories are told and audiences engaged.

We recently worked witTrayvonh researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Center for Civic Media to facilitate direct machine queries of our television news library that returned structured data results to inform their media landscape analysis of the Trayvon Martin story and reveal key pivot points in its evolution.

 

Journalists and documentarians at the newly-launched Retro Report are using TV News Search & Borrow to help them take a fresh look at important stories of the past, share new perspectives and add insightful commentary to what are sometimes all too shortsighted first drafts of history.

We are also working with a number of scholars, journalists and civic organizations to see how our research library might help improve political accountability and transparency by indexing television political advertising and pairing them with information on ad sponsors from FCC-mandated “public inspection files” at each station.

Daisy_Ad_1964   “Daisy

Such a special collection could also be used to study interactions between campaign messaging and local news coverage. The 2013 elections in Virginia, a state with no political campaign contribution limits, may be a useful test-bed for experiments like these.

We are following up on suggestions from media professionals that a comprehensive research library of local television news might also better inform stations and their audiences about how programs are helping to meet the critical information needs of local communities.

VanderbiltOur TV News Search and & Borrow service preserves and makes responsibly accessible an enduring library of television news, serving important public benefit research interests of today and those of generations to come.  In doing so, it stands on the shoulders of the pioneering work of Vanderbilt University’s Television News Archive and, more recently, UCLA’s NewsScape library.

We are humbled by the challenges of exploring the new territory of scaling intelligent access to our growing digital public library of television news and welcome feedback on how we can better serve the public interest.

UCLA Brings Light to the Undiscovered Country of Television News

The UCLA Library recently launched a remarkable broadcast news  research and education platform, Broadcast NewsScape.   The service is accessible online to users on the UCLA campus.  Platform managers hope to expand access throughout the UC system later this year.  NewsScape captures closed captioning, in a manner similar to our TV News Search & Borrow, to facilitate deep search and discovery of relevant segments of over 200,000 U.S. and international news program episodes.

BroadcastNewsScape1We are excited that the UCLA library has joined Vanderbilt University and the Internet Archive in offering tailored research and public interest access to television news.  These successful demonstrations of responsibly providing public benefit access to television news are helping to enrich conversations regarding mutual benefits among media and library stakeholders.

UCLA has a storied history in archiving television news, starting with the 1974 Senate Watergate hearings.  Between 1979 and 2003, UCLA recorded off-air more than 100,000 news programs, preserving and making them accessible in UCLA’s Film & Television Archive’s News and Public Affairs Collection  In 2005, Communication Studies department professors Francis F. Steen and Tim Groeling brought UCLA’s television news archiving into the digital age, recording direct to disks and, most transformationally, preserving available closed captioning.  Their collection has enabled researches to experiment with new digital processes for analyzing attributes of broadcast news.

NewsScape_infrastructureLast year, the UCLA Library started making provisions to take the digital news archive under its wing, devoting considerable server resources and relieving Francis and Tim from their 8-year labor of love maintaining their modest, sometimes cantankerous, hardware and ever-growing data stores.

Thanks to the leadership of associate university librarians Todd Grappone and Sharon Farb, the UCLA Library’s newly launched Broadcast NewsScape tool is welcoming scholars, educators and students from throughout the university to delve deeply and and derive new insights from the undiscovered country that is television news.

UCLA’s announcement: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-library-launches-transformative-243873.aspx