UCLA Brings Light to the Undiscovered Country of Television News
The UCLA Library recently launched a remarkable television news archive research and education tool, Broadcast NewsScape. The service is accessible online to authenticated UCLA students and faculty. They hope to expand access throughout the UC system later this year. NewsScape uses 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.
We are excited that UCLA has joined Vanderbilt University and the Internet Archive in offering tailored 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 their 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.
Last 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 librarians Todd Grappone and Sharon Farb, UCLA’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.