Tag Archives: TV news archive

TV News Record: Six takeaways from adding Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama & more to Face-o-Matic facial detection

A round up on what’s happening at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman.

This week we release new data generated by our Face-o-Matic tool, developed in collaboration with Matroid, adding to our list of public figures detected by facial-recognition on major cable news stations on the  TV News Archive.

In addition to President Donald Trump and the four congressional leaders, the expanded list now includes most former living presidents and recent major party presidential contenders, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (For the full list of public officials tracked, as well as methodical notes, see bottom of the post.)

Detecting faces on TV news and turning them into data provides a new quantitative path for journalists and researchers to explore how news is presented to the public and compare and contrast editorial choices that individual networks make. This new measure shows us the duration that politicians’ faces are actually shown on screen, whether it’s a clip of that person speaking, muted footage, or a still photo shown in the background to illustrate a point.

Adding to the Television Explorer, fueled by closed captions and our Third Eye chyron reading tool, a wealth of information is now available to analyze. (See the TV News Archive home page for examples of visualizations created by journalists and researchers using TV News Archive data.)

Here are six quick takeaways using Face-o-Matic for an analysis covering roughly six months, from November 2017 through May 2018, looking at four cable TV news networks: BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

Download Face-o-Matic data to explore your own research questions.

1. Trump trumps every other political figure in face-time on cable TV news, all the time, every day, in every way, on every network and program.

As we’ve seen in past analyses with Face-o-Matic data, President Donald Trump is the major political star on cable TV news as compared to other top political figures examined. To put this in perspective: over a six month period stretching from November 2017 to May 2018, the president’s face appeared on TV cable news the equivalent of a full 13.5 days, counting every second of face-time. The next closest political figure we analyzed was House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis., whose visage appeared the equivalent of one day.


  1. After Trump, GOP leaders in Congress are the most popular faces on TV cable news.

The two GOP leaders in Congress, Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky. are the next most popular faces on TV news cable news networks. Between the two, Ryan ranks first on the TV news cable networks we examined: BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.  McConnell is the next most shown face on these networks, with the exception of BBC News.

Link to interactive version of above chart, where view can be changed to exclude specific politicians.

  1. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama figure prominently on Fox News.

Fox News airs proportionately more images of failed presidential candidate 2016 Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama than other cable TV news networks. Fox News showed Clinton’s face 7.6 times more than CNN did, and Obama’s 3.6 times more. Fox News also showed Clinton 3.6 times more than MSNBC, and Obama, 2.3 times more.


  1. Hannity shows more Hillary Clinton face-time than any other top-rated Fox News show.

Not only does the Fox News “Hannity” program air more images of Hillary Clinton proportionately than any other top rated Fox News show, with just one exception, it is the Fox News show that shows her face more than current congressional leaders–Ryan, McConnell, Schumer or Pelosi. “Hannity” also shows more images of Obama than other top rated Fox News shows.

Link to interactive version of above chart, where view can be changed to exclude specific politicians.

  1. Ryan face-time spikes on news shows aired during morning hours.

All three U.S. cable news networks examined showed high rates of face-time for Ryan on shows airing during morning hours, ranging from 9 am to 11 am. This may be linked to his leadership role in Congress and that morning hours are prime for large announcements. For example, on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” and “Happening Now” show spikes of face-time for Ryan. On MSNBC, “Live with Hallie Jackson” and “Live with Velshi and Ruhle” show high rates of images for Ryan. And on CNN, “At This Hour with Kate Bolduan” shows high rates of Ryan as well. 

Links to interactive charts for top-rated news shows; view can be adjusted to exclude specific politicians. The source for top-rated shows is shows with 2017 top viewership by Nielsen.

Top-rated Fox News shows.

Top-rated MSNBC news shows.

Top-rated CNN shows.

  1. BBC News just isn’t that into us.

BBC News provides a window into how news is presented to a major foreign audience. Like U.S. cable news networks, BBC News features more face-time for Trump than other political figures examined. Ryan ranks a distant second. Overall, BBC News, however, shows much lower rates of images of U.S. political figures than U.S. cable news shows do.

Link to interactive version of above chart, where view can be changed to exclude specific politicians.

Methodological notes

The Face-o-Matic data set, available for download on the Internet Archive, uses facial recognition to track the faces of prominent public officials as they appear on major cable TV news networks: BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. The list of public officials tracked, along with the date that detection began, is here:

President & current congressional leaders

President Donald Trump, 7/13/17

Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis., 7/13/17

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., 7/13/17

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., 7/13/17

Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., 7/13/17

Former living presidents and recent major party presidential candidates*

George H.W. Bush, 10/5/17

George W. Bush, 11/1/17

Jimmy Carter, 10/21/17

Bill Clinton, 9/12/17

Hillary Clinton, 9/12/17

Barack Obama, 7/13/17

Mitt Romney, 10/4/17

*Note: Our data set does not include Sen. John McCain, R., Ariz., who ran for president opposite Obama in 2008. Sample testing of facial detection for the senator revealed a somewhat frequent rate of false positives  – instances where the identified face was not the senator’s, but rather one of a number of lookalikes. While we make no claim that all of the detections in the Face-o-matic data set are error free, we did test faces to minimize these. Please be sure to notify us if you find errors in the data.

Audio / Video player updated – to jwplayer v8.2

We updated our audio/video (and TV) 3rd party JS-based player from v6.8 to v8.2 today.

This was updated with some code to have the same feature set as before, as well as new:

  • much nicer cosmetic/look updates
  • nice “rewind 10 seconds” button
  • controls are now in an updated control bar
  • (video) ‘Related Items’ now uses the same (better) recommendations from the bottom of an archive.org /details/ page
  • Airplay (Safari) and Chromecast basic casting controls in player
  • playback speed rate control now easier to use / set
  • playback keyboard control with SPACE and left , right and up, down keys
  • (video) Web VTT (captions) has much better user interface and display
  • flash is now only used to play audio/video if html5 doesnt work (flash does not do layout or controls now)

Here’s some before / after screenshots:

Expanding the Television Archive

When we started archiving television in 2000, people shrugged and asked, “Why?  Isn’t it all junk anyway?” As the saying goes, one person’s junk is another person’s gold. From 2010-18, scholars, pundits and above all, reporters, have spun journalistic gold from the data captured in our 1.5 million hours of television news recordings. Our work has been fueled by visionary funders(1) who saw the potential impact of turning television – from news reports to political ads – into data that can be analyzed at scale. Now the Internet Archive is taking its Television Archive in new directions. In 2018 our goals for television will be: better curation in what we collect; broader collection across the globe; and working with computer scientists interested in exploring our huge data sets. Simply put, our mission is to build and preserve comprehensive collections of the world’s most important television programming and make them as accessible as possible to researchers and the general public. We will need your help.  

“Preserving TV news is critical, and at the Internet Archive we’ve decided to rededicate ourselves to growing our collection,” explained Roger MacDonald, Director of Television at the Internet Archive. “We plan to go wide, expanding our archives of global TV news from every continent. We also plan to go deep, gathering content from local markets around the country. And we plan to do so in a sustainable way that ensures that this TV will be available to generations to come.”

Libraries, museums and memory institutions have long played a critical role in preserving the cultural output of our creators. Television falls within that mandate. Indeed some of the most comprehensive US television collections are held by the Library of Congress, Vanderbilt University and UCLA. Now we’d like to engage with a broad range of libraries and memory institutions in the television collecting and curation process. If your organization has a mandate to collect television or researcher demand for this media, we would like to understand your needs and interests. The Internet Archive will undertake collection trials with interested institutions, with the eventual goal of making this work self-sustaining.

Simultaneously, we are looking to engage researchers interested in the non-consumptive analysis of television at scale, in ways that continue to respect the interests of right holders. The tools we’ve created may be useful. For instance, we hope the tools the Internet Archive used to detect TV campaign ads can be applied by researchers in new and different ways.  If your organization has interest in computing with television as data at large, we are interested in working with you.

This groundbreaking interface for searching television news, based on the closed captions associated with US broadcasts, was developed between 2009-2012.

A brief history of the Internet Archive’s Television collection:

2000 Working with pioneering engineer, Rod Hewitt, IA begins archiving 20 channels originating from many nations.

Oct. 2001 September 11, 2001 Collection established, and enhanced in 2011.

2009-2012 With funding from the Knight Foundation and many others, we built a service to allow public searching, citation and borrowing of US television news programs on DVD.

2012-2014 Public TV news library launched with tools to search, quote and share streamed snippets from television news.

2014 Pilot launched to detect political advertisements broadcast in the Philadelphia region, led to developing open sourced audio fingerprinting techniques.

2016 Political ad detection, curation, and access expanded to 28 battleground regions for 2016 elections, enabling journalists to fact check the ads and analyze the data at scale. The same tools helped reporters analyze presidential debates.  This resulted in front-page data visualizations in The New York Times, as well as 150+ analyses by news outlets from Fox News to The Economist to FiveThirtyEight.

2017-date Experiments with artificial intelligence techniques to employ facial identification, and on-screen optical character recognition to aid searching and data mining of television. Special curated collections of top political leaders and fact-check integrations.

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections, journalists at the NYT and elsewhere began analyzing television as data, in this case looking at the different sound bites each network chose to replay.

Embarking on a new direction also means shifting away from some of our current services. Our dedicated television team has been focusing on metadata enhancement and assisting journalists and scholars to use our data. We will be wrapping up some of these free services in the next three to four months.  We hope others will take up where we left off and build the tools that will make our collection even more valuable to the public.

Now more than ever in this era of disinformation, our world needs an open, reliable, canonical reference source of television news. This cannot exist without the diligent efforts of technologists, journalists, researchers, and television companies all working together to create a television archive open for all. We hope you will join us!

To learn more about the work of the TV News Archive outreach and metadata innovation team over the last few years, please see our blog posts.

(1) Funding for the Television Archive has come from diverse donors, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, Rita Allen Foundation, craigslist Charitable Fund and The Buck Foundation.

TV News Record: The year in TV news visualizations

Thanks for being part of our community at the TV News Archive. As 2017 draws to a close, we’ve chosen six of our favorite visualizations using TV News Archive data. We look forward to assisting many more journalists and researchers in what will likely be an even more tumultuous news year. 

The New York Times: Mueller indictments

The New York Times editorial page used our Third Eye chyron collection to produce an analysis of TV news coverage of major indictments of Trump campaign officials by special counsel Robert Mueller: “The way each network covered the story – or avoided it – is a sign of how the media landscape has become ever more politicized in the Trump era. ”

credit: Taylor Adams, Jessia Ma, and Stuart A. Thompson, The New York Times, “Trump Loves Fox & Friends,” November 1, 2017.

FiveThirtyEight: hurricane coverage

Writing for FiveThirtyEight.com, Dhrumil Mehta demonstrated that TV news broadcasters paid less attention to Puerto Rico’s hurricane Maria than to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit mainland U.S. primarily in Texas and Florida. Mehta used TV News Archive data via Television Explorer.

credit: Dhrumil Mehta, “The Media Really Has Neglected Puerto Rico,” FiveThirtyEight, September 28, 2017.

TV News Archive: face-time for lawmakers

Using our Face-o-Matic data set, we found that Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., gets the most face-time on cable TV news, and MSNBC features his visage more than the other networks examined. Fox News features the face of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., more than any other cable network.

Vox:  Mueller’s credibility

Vox’s Alvin Chang used Television Explorer to explore how Fox News reports on Mueller’s credibility. This included showing how often Fox news mentioned Mueller in the context of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Alvin Chang, “A week of Fox News transcripts shows how they began questioning Mueller’s credibility,” Vox, October 31, 2017.

The Trace: coverage of shootings

Writing for The Trace, Jennifer Mascia presented findings from Television Explorer showing how coverage of shootings declines rapidly: “Two days after 26 people were massacred in a Texas church, the incident — one of the worst mass shootings in American history — had nearly vanished from the major cable news networks.”

Credit: Jennifer Mascia, “Data Shows Shrinking Cable News Cycles for This Fall’s Mass Shootings,” The Trace, December 5, 2017.

The Washington Post: What TV news networks covered in 2017

Philip Bump of The Washington Post crunched Television Explorer data to look at coverage of eleven major news stories by five national news networks. Here’s his visualization of TV news coverage of “sexual assault,” which shows how coverage increased at the end of the year as dozens of prominent men in media, politics, and entertainment were accused of sexual harassment or assault.

Philip Bump, “What national news networks were talking about during 2017, The Washington Post, December 15, 2017.

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TV News Record: Face-o-Matic on Trump, McConnell, and Pelosi; PolitiFact picks “2017 Lie of the Year”

A biweekly round up on what’s happening at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman.

This week we take a dive into nearly six months of Face-o-Matic facial recognition data. We also display the news clips behind PolitiFact’s top picks for lies and misstatements of the year, most of them seen and heard on TV news.

Face-o-Matic reveals cable news persistent patterns

With nearly six-months of data available, we’re finding certain persistent patterns on how cable networks make editorial choices in displaying the faces of President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders on TV screens.

First, Trump trumps the congressional leaders for on-screen face time, by many degrees of magnitude.

 

Second, of the four congressional leaders, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., gets the most face-time on TV, and MSNBC features his visage more than the other networks examined. Fox News features the face of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif. more than any other cable network.

Face-o-Matic, an experimental service, developed in collaboration with the start-up Matroid, tracks the faces of selected high level elected officials on major TV cable news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC.  Face-o-Matic data is available to the media, researchers, and the public, updated daily here. Stay tuned: we are in the process of testing new faces to add to Face-o-Matic: living past presidents and recent major political party nominees.

PolitiFact announces “2017 Lie of the Year”

Our fact-checking partner PolitiFact has announced its annual Lie of the Year: President Donald Trump’s statement in May 2017 to NBC’s Lester Holt, “This Russia thing…is a made-up story.” Below is the interview on the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive.

Writes PolitiFact editor, Angie Drobnic Holan:

In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.

Trump’s statement about Russia was both the PolitiFact’s editors pick for Lie of the Year, and the top one chosen by PolitiFact’s readers in an online poll by “an overwhelming margin.” Readers also called out other fact-checks to highlight for the year, choosing from a list of ten from the editors, or writing in their own nominations.

The top vote-getter after Trump’s statement on Russia was Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador’s claim that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” “While the exact number of deaths saved by having health insurance is uncertain, the researchers we contacted agreed that the number is higher than zero–probably quite a bit higher,” writes PolitiFact reporter Louis Jacobson, who rated the claim “Pants on Fire.”

In third place was Sean Spicer’s claim, “that was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period,” referring to the presidential inauguration in January 2017. PolitiFact at the time rated that claim “Pants on Fire”: “Spicer suggested 720,000 attended Trump’s inauguration, while organizers said they expected 700,000 to 900,000, and Trump himself estimated 1.5 million. All of those figures are less than the 1.8 million people who attended Obama’s 2009 inaugural.”

To see more video of fact-checks chosen by PolitiFact’s readers and editors as lies or misstatements of the year, see this list, which includes links both to TV news clips of public officals making statements on the air, along with links to fact-checks of those statements.

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TV News Record: Coverage of sexual harassment charges

A biweekly round up on what’s happening at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman.

This week we dive into research resources, fact-checks, and backgrounders on the sexual harassment charges sweeping the worlds of media, politics, and entertainment.

Past TV news appearances by O’Reilly, Franken, Halperin & more preserved, searchable

The names of well-known and influential men accused of sexual harassment continue to pile up: Louis C.K.; Rep. John Conyers, D., Mich.; Sen. Al Franken, D., Minn.; Mark Halperin of ABC; Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame; NBC’s Matt Lauer, Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore; Fox’s Bill O’Reilly; Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS; Leon Wieseltier, formerly of The New Republic; Harvey Weinstein, and of course the president himself, Donald Trump.

Some of these men made their living on TV and all of them have many TV appearances preserved in the TV News Archive. These include, for example, clips making the rounds in this week’s stories about Lauer’s television history: this one where NBC staff did a fake joke story about Lauer himself being harassed by a colleague; and this interview with the actress Anne Hathaway after a photographer took a photo up her skirt and a tabloid printed it.

We’ve also got this September 2017  interview Lauer did of Bill O’Reilly, in which he asks the former Fox News host: “Have you done some soul searching? Have you done some self-reflection and have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now or think about differently now than you did at the time?” O’Reilly answers, “My conscience is clear.”


TV news use of term “sexual harassment” peaked in 2011

Mentions of term “sexual harassment” since 2009 on cableTV news shows, source: Television Explorer search of TV News Archive caption data

Cable TV news programs mentions of the term “sexual harassment” are picking up, but not yet at the level they were back in November 2011, according to a search of TV News Archive caption data via Television Explorer. What was big news then? Accusations of sexual harassment against then presidential candidate Herman Cain, who the following month dropped out of the 2012 race. Cain was back on TV this week, in an interview on the current claims of sexual harassment against powerful men, on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle.

Cain says: “Now, what’s different about my situation, and let’s just say Roy Moore’s situation, is that they came after me with repeatedly attacks and accusations, but no confirmation. They now believe that if they throw more and more and more mud on the wall, that eventually people are going to believe it. But that has backfired because, as you know, the latest poll shows Roy Moore is now back in the lead in Alabama, and the people in Alabama are going to have to decide.”


Fact-checks and backgrounders on sexual harassment charges

Our fact-checking partners have produced numerous fact-checks and background pieces on sexual harassment charges and statements.

“How politicians react to such charges often appears to reflect who is being accused. Democrats are quick to jump on allegations about Republicans — and vice versa. But the bets start to get hedged when someone in the same party falls under scrutiny,” writes Meg Kelly for The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker.

For example, here’s House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D. Calif., on “Meet the Press” in 1998, defending then-President Bill Clinton. At the time, Pelosi said, referring to the investigation by Ken Starr into allegations against Clinton: “The women of America are just like other Americans, in that they value fairness, they value privacy, and do not want to see a person with uncontrolled power, uncontrolled time, uncontrolled – unlimited money investigating the president of the United States.”

And here’s President Donald Trump on the White House south lawn, defending GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore: “Roy Moore denies this. That’s all I can say. And by the way, he totally denies it.”

Kelly also wrote a round-up of sexual harassment charges against the president himself: “During the second presidential debate, Anderson Cooper asked then-candidate Trump point blank whether he had “actually kiss[ed] women without consent or grope[d] women without consent?” Trump asserted that “nobody has more respect for women” and Cooper pushed him, asking, “Have you ever done those things?” Trump denied that he had, responding: “No, I have not.”…But it’s not as simple as that. Many of the women have produced witnesses who say they heard about these incidents when they happened — long before Trump’s political aspirations were known. Three have produced at least two witnesses.”

In another piece, Glenn Kessler, editor of The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, writes  in a round up of corroborators, “Such contemporaneous accounts are essential to establishing the credibility of the allegation because they reduce the chances that a person is making up a story for political purposes. In the case of sexual allegations, such accounts can help bolster the credibility of the “she said” side of the equation.” One of the statements of denial he quotes is this one from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who says when asked if all of the accusers are lying: “Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president’s spoken on it.”


Here’s FactCheck.org’s Eugene Kiely on Sen. Tim Kaine, D., Va., and his claim that the Clinton campaign can’t give back contributions from Harry Weinstein: “Asked if the Clinton-Kaine campaign will return contributions it received from movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Sen. Tim Kaine repeatedly said the campaign is over. That’s true, but it doesn’t mean the campaign can’t refund donations.” FactCheck.org deemed this claim “misleading.”

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TV News Record: With indictment, chyrons & captions get a graphic workout

A biweekly round up on what’s happening at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman

Fox News downplayed Mueller indictment, according to NYT editorial chyron analysis

In the most intensive use the Internet Archive’s Third Eye data to date, The New York Times editorial page analyzed chyron data to show how Fox News downplayed this week’s news of the indictment of former Trump campaign manager and other legal developments. The graphic-heavy opinion piece was featured at the top of the online homepage much of the day on Wednesday, Nov. 1:

Though it is far from the only possible way to evaluate news coverage, the chyron has become something of a touchstone for media analysts, being both the most obvious visual example of spin or distraction and the most shareable. Any negative coverage of the president usually prompts a flurry of tweets cataloguing the differences among networks in their chyron text. While CNN, MSNBC and the BBC are typically in alignment, Monday morning was a particularly stark example of how Fox News pushes its own version of reality.

 Read The New York Times opinion piece, and dig into the data yourself.

Captions yield insights on Mueller investigation, shooting coverage

Fox News actively tried to “plant doubt in viewers’ minds” as Mueller brought charges against former Trump campaign officials, according to an analysis of a week’s worth of closed captions by Alvin Chang of Vox News. Chang used Television Explorer, fueled by TV News Archive data, to crunch the numbers behind charts such as the one below.

And The Trace, an independent, nonprofit news organization that focuses on gun violence, used TV News Archive caption data via Television Explorer to show how TV news coverage of mass shootings declines quickly.

Face-o-Matic captures congressional leaders reactions on indictments

In the 24 hours following news breaking about the indictments, our Face-o-Matic data feed captured cable news networks’ editorial choices on how much face-time to allot to congressional leaders’ reactions. The answer: not much.

All together the four congressional leaders’ faces were shown for a total of 2.5 minutes on indictment-related reporting on screen by CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Ryan got the lion’s share of the attention. Much of this was devoted to airings of his photo in connection with his official statement,“[N]othing is going to derail what we are doing in Congress, because we are working on solving people’s problems.”

The image of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, K., Ky., was not featured by any network. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., got attention only from Fox News, which featured her photo with discussion of her statement, in which she said despite the news, “we still need an outside fully independent investigation.”


Fact-check:Papadopoulos had a limited role in Trump campaign (had seat at table/not the whole story)

One of the most parsed statements this week was White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ claim that George Papadopolous, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, had an “extremely limited” role in the campaign. “It was a volunteer position,” she said. “And again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign.”

“Determining how important Papadopoulos was on the Trump team is open to interpretation, so we won’t put this argument to the Truth-O-Meter,” wrote Louis Jacobson, reporting for PolitiFact. Jacobson, however, laid out the known facts. For example, in March 2016, then presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted out a photo of himself and advisors sitting at a table, saying it was a “national security meeting.” Papadopoulos is seen at the table sitting near future Attorney General Jeff Sessions. However, Jacobson also writes,“There is some evidence to support the argument that Papadopoulos was freelancing by pushing the Russia connection.”

Reviewing Sanders’ claim, as well as a Trump tweet along similar lines, Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely took a similar tack for FactCheck.org, concluding that Papadopoulos had a “seat at the table” in the campaign, but it was beyond licking envelopes and posting lawn signs:  “What we do know is that during this time — from late March to mid-August — Papadopoulos was in regular contact with senior Trump campaign officials and attended a national security meeting with Trump. We will let readers decide if this constitutes a ‘low-level volunteer.'”


Embed TV News Archive clips on web annotations

Now you can embed TV News Archive news clips when commenting and annotating the web, thanks to a new integration from Hypothes.is. From the Hypothesis.is blog:

This integration makes it easy for journalists, fact-checkers, educators, scholars and anyone that wants to relate specific text in a webpage, PDF, or EPUB to a particular snippet of video news coverage. All you need to do to use it is copy the URL of a TV News Archive video page, paste it into the Hypothesis annotation editor and save your annotation. You can adjust the start and end of the video to include any exact snippet. The video will then automatically be available to view in your annotation alongside the annotated text.

See a live example of the integration in this annotation with an embedded news video of Senator Charles Schumer at a news conference over a post that checks the facts in one of his statements.

“This integration means that one of the world’s most valuable resources — the news that the Internet Archive captures across the world everyday — will be able to be brought into close context with pages and documents across the web,” said Hypothesis CEO Dan Whaley. “For instance, a video of a politician making an actual statement next to an excerpt that claims the opposite, or a video of a newsworthy event next to a deeper analysis of it.”

Please take Hypothes.is for a spin and let us know what you think: tvnews@archive.org.

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History is happening, and we’re not just watching

  1. Which recent hurricane got the least amount of attention from TV news broadcasters?
    1. Irma
    2. Maria
    3. Harvey
  2. Thomas Jefferson said, “Government that governs least governs best.”
    1. True
    2. False
  3. Mitch McConnell shows up most on which cable TV news channel?
    1. CNN
    2. Fox News
    3. MSNBC

Answers at end of post.

The Internet Archive’s TV News Archive, our constantly growing online, free library of TV news broadcasts, contains 1.4 million shows, some dating back to 2009, searchable by closed captioning. History is happening, and we preserve how broadcast news filters it to us, the audience, whether it’s through CNN’s Jake Tapper, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or others. This archive becomes a rich resource for journalists, academics, and the general public to explore the biases embedded in news coverage and to hold public officials accountable.

Last October we wrote how the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive was “hacking the election,” then 13 days away. In the year since, we’ve been applying our experience using machine learning to track political ads and TV news coverage in the 2016 elections to experiment with new collaborations and tools to create more ways to analyze the news.

Helping fact-checkers

Since we launched our Trump Archive in January 2017, and followed in August with the four congressional leaders, Democrat and Republican, as well as key executive branch figures, we’ve collected some 4,534 hours of curated programming and more than 1,300 fact-checks of material on subjects ranging from immigration to the environment to elections.

 

The 1,340 fact-checks–and counting–represent a subset of the work of partners FactCheck.orgPolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, as we link only to fact-checks that correspond to statements that appear on TV news. Most of the fact-checks–524–come from PolitiFact; 492 are by FactCheck.org, and 324 from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

We’re also proud to be part of the Duke Reporter’s Lab’s new Tech & Check collaborative, where we’re working with journalists and computer scientists to develop ways to automate parts of the fact-checking process.  For example, we’re creating processes to help identify important factual claims within TV news broadcasts to help guide fact-checkers where to concentrate their efforts. The initiative received $1.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project and the Craig Newmark Foundation.

See the TrumpUS Congress, and executive branch archives and collected fact-checks.

TV News Kitchen

We’re collaborating with data scientists, private companies and nonprofit organizations, journalists, and others to cook up new experiments available in our TV News Kitchen, providing new ways to analyze TV news content and understand ourselves.

Dan Schultz, our senior creative technologist, worked with the start-up Matroid to develop Face-o-Matic, which tracks faces of selected high level elected officials on major TV cable news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and BBC News. The underlying data are available for download here. Unlike caption-based searches, Face-o-Matic uses facial recognition algorithms to recognize individuals on TV news screens. It is sensitive enough to catch this tiny, dark image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., within a graphic, and this quick flash of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky.

The work of TV Architect Tracey Jaquith, our Third Eye project scans the lower thirds of TV screens, using OCR, or optical character recognition, to turn these fleeting missives into downloadable data ripe for analysis. Launched in September 2017, Third Eye tracks BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and collected more than four million chyrons captured in just over two weeks, and counting.

Download Third Eye data. API and TSV options available.

Follow Third Eye on Twitter.

Vox news reporter Alvin Chang used the Third Eye chyron data to report how Fox News paid less attention to Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico than it did to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which battered Florida and Texas. Chang’s work followed a similar piece by Dhrumil Mehta for FiveThirtyEight, which used Television Explorer, a tool developed by data scientist Kalev Leetaru to search and visualize closed captioning on the TV News Archive.

 

FiveThirtyEight used TV News Archive captions to create this look at how cable networks covered recent hurricanes.

CNN’s Brian Stelter followed up with a similar analysis on “Reliable Sources” October 1.

We’re also working with academics who are using our tools to unlock new insights. For example, Schultz and Jaquith are working with Bryce Dietrich at the University of Iowa to apply the Duplitron, the audiofingerprinting tool that fueled our political ad airing data, to analyze floor speeches of members of Congress. The study identifies which floor speeches were aired on cable news programs and explores the reasons why those particular clips were selected for airing. A draft of the paper was presented in the 2017 Polinfomatics Workshop in Seattle and will begin review for publication in the coming months.

What’s next? Our plans include making more than a million hours of TV news available to researchers from both private and public institutions via a digital public library branch of the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive. These branches would be housed in computing environments, where networked computers provide the processing power needed to analyze large amounts of data. Researchers will be able to conduct their own experiments using machine learning to extract metadata from TV news. Such metadata could include, for example, speaker identification–a way to identify not just when a speaker appears on a screen, but when she or he is talking. Metadata generated through these experiments would then be used to enrich the TV News Archive, so that any member of the public could do increasingly sophisticated searches.

Going global

We live in an interdependent world, but we often lack understanding about how other cultures perceive us. Collecting global TV could open a new window for journalists and researchers seeking to understand how political and policy messages are reported and spread across the globe. The same tools we’ve developed to track political ads, faces, chyrons, and captions can help us put news coverage from around the globe into perspective.

We’re beginning work to expand our TV collection to include more channels from around the globe. We’ve added the BBC and recently began collecting Deutsche Welle from Germany and the English-language Al Jazeera. We’re talking to potential partners and developing strategy about where it’s important to collect TV and how we can do so efficiently.

History is happening, but we’re not just watching. We’re collecting, making it accessible, and working with others to find new ways to understand it. Stay tuned. Email us at tvnews@archive.org. Follow us @tvnewsarchive, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Answer Key

  1. b. (See: “The Media Really Has Neglected Puerto Rico,” FiveThirtyEight.
  2. b. False. (See: Vice President Mike Pence statement and linked PolitiFact fact-check.)
  3. c. MSNBC. (See: Face-O-Matic blog post.)

Members of the TV News Archive team: Roger Macdonald, director; Robin Chin, Katie Dahl, Tracey Jaquith, Dan Schultz, and Nancy Watzman.

Face-o-Matic data show Trump dominates – Fox focuses on Pelosi; MSNBC features McConnell

For every ten minutes that TV cable news shows featured President Donald Trump’s face on the screen this past summer, the four congressional leaders’ visages were presented  for one minute, according an analysis of Face-o-Matic downloadable, free data fueled by the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive and made available to the public today.

Face-o-Matic is an experimental service, developed in collaboration with the start-up Matroid, that tracks the faces of selected high level elected officials on major TV cable news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. First launched as a Slack app in July, the TV News Archive, after receiving feedback from journalists, is now making the underlying data available to the media, researchers, and the public. It will be updated daily here.

Unlike caption-based searches, Face-o-Matic uses facial recognition algorithms to recognize individuals on TV news screens. Face-o-Matic finds images of people when TV news shows use clips of the lawmakers speaking; frequently, however, the lawmakers’ faces also register if their photos or clips are being used to illustrate a story, or they appear as part of a montage as the news anchor talks.  Alongside closed caption research, these data provide an additional metric to analyze how TV news cable networks present public officials to their millions of viewers.

Our concentration on public officials and our bipartisan tracking is purposeful; in experimenting with this technology, we strive to respect individual privacy and extract only information for which there is a compelling public interest, such as the role the public sees our elected officials playing through the filter of TV news. The TV News Archive is committed to doing this right by adhering to these Artificial Intelligence principles for ethical research developed by leading artificial intelligence researchers, ethicists, and others at a January 2017 conference organized by the Future of Life Institute. As we go forward with our experiments, we will continue to explore these questions in conversations with experts and the public.

Download Face-o-Matic data here.

We want to hear from you:

What other faces would you like us to track? For example, should we start by adding the faces of foreign leaders, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and South Korea’s Kim Jong-un? Should we add former President Barack Obama and contender Hillary Clinton? Members of the White House staff? Other members of Congress?

Do you have any technical feedback? If so, please let us know what they are by contacting tvnews@archive.org or participating in the GitHub Face-o-Matic page.

Trump dominates, Pelosi gets little face-time

Overall, between July 13 through September 5, analysis of Face-o-Matic data show:

  • All together, we found 7,930 minutes, or some 132 hours, of face-time for President Donald Trump and the four congressional leaders. Of that amount, Trump dominated with 90 percent of the face-time. Collectively, the four congressional leaders garnered 15 hours of face-time.
  • House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., got the least amount of time on the screen: just 1.4 hours over the whole period.
  • Of the congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s face was found most often: 7.6 hours, compared to 3.8 hours for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis.; 1.7 hours for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., and 1.4 hours for Pelosi.
  • The congressional leaders got bumps in coverage when they were at the center of legislative fights, such as in this clip of McConnell aired by CNN, in which the senator is shown speaking on July 25 about the upcoming health care reform vote. Schumer got coverage on the same date from the network in this clip of him talking about the Russia investigation. Ryan got a huge boost on CNN when the cable network aired his town hall on August 21.

Fox shows most face-time for Pelosi; MSNBC, most Trump and McConnell

The liberal cable network MSNBC gave Trump more face-time than any other network. Ditto for McConnell. A number of these stories highlight tensions between the senate majority leader and the president. For example, here, on August 25, the network uses a photo of McConnell, and then a clip of both McConnell and Ryan, to illustrate a report on Trump “trying to distance himself” from GOP leaders. In this excerpt, from an August 21 broadcast, a clip of McConnell speaking is shown in the background to illustrate his comments that “most news is not fake,” which is interpreted as “seem[ing] to take a shot at the president.”

MSNBC uses photos of both Trump and McConnell in August 12 story on “feud” between the two.

While Pelosi does not get much face-time on any of the cable news networks examined, Fox News shows her face more than any other. In this commentary report on August 20, Jesse Waters criticizes Pelosi for favoring the removal of confederate statues placed in the Capitol building. “Miss Pelosi has been in Congress for 30 years. Now she speaks up?” On August 8, “Special Report With Bret Baier” uses a clip of Pelosi talking in favor of women having a right to choose the size and timing of her family as an “acid test for party base.”

Example of Fox News using a photo of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to illustrate a story, in this case about a canceled San Francisco rally.

While the BBC gives some Trump face-time, it gives scant attention to the congressional leaders. Proportionately, however, the BBC gives Trump less face-time than any of the U.S. networks.

On July 13 the BBC’s “Outside Source” ran a clip of Trump talking about his son, Donald Trump, Jr.’s, meeting with a Russian lobbyist.

For details about the data available, please visit the Face-O-Matic page. The TV News Archive is an online, searchable, public archive of 1.4 million TV news programs aired from 2009 to the present.  This service allows researchers and the public to use television as a citable and sharable reference. Face-O-Matic is part of ongoing experiments in generating metadata for reporters and researchers, enabling analysis of the messages that bombard us daily in public discourse.