Many people are familiar with the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine, which allows users to enter a URL and find previous versions of preserved websites in its collections. In addition to the web archives, you can access video (for fun, see Tech.Blorge’s list of the Top 40 Best Free Movie You Can Download Right Now), audio, texts and other items in the public domain. Now the archive has added a new feature – TV News Search and Borrow.
The New York Times recently spoke to Brewstar Kahle, the founder of the Archive. Currently, TV News archives 1000 national news shows, 350,000 programs on 20 different stations since 2009, including mainstream media such as CNN, ABC, FOX, etc. You’ll find drop down menus of all of the shows and stations on the main page of TV News.
Although the service was designed to help voters sort through issues related to the current political landscape, its potential use extends beyond politics and the upcoming election. Perhaps you have a patient who heard a news teaser for a new cancer treatment in the past week, but didn’t remember what show or network. Or perhaps you are a marketer for XYZ company and wanted to review XYZ’s mentions in the national television media. Or perhaps you’re a superfan of Twilight and want to find all news broadcasts related to those movies.
I searched “UAB” and found a clip from the November 18. 2010 episode of Nightline. Below is just a screen shot, but you can see the clip here.
The clip is 3:16 and does not reflect the entire content of the report. As you can see, other options include borrowing a DVD of the story, a broadcast summary, and a link to the site of the original broadcast. Note that the fees involved in borrowing the DVD can be steep. The Archive uses closed-caption technology to map the search terms. Archived videos reportedly appear within 24 hours of the broadcast, but I didn’t try to test this.
Eventually, the Internet Archive plans to archive all news shows in television history — a lofty goal that will be interesting to watch.