The grant will be used to expand the digital library's TV News Search & Borrow service, which uses closed captioning to enable users to search, quote, and borrow news broadcasts in its database. In addition to enhancing the current service — which encompasses four hundred thousand broadcasts dating to June 2009 — the grant will support new features and Web site enhancements aimed at improving the user experience and boosting audience engagement. It is hoped the expanded service will help strengthen the work of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations, and others who look to broadcast news to verify facts, better understand the context for recent events, and discover new resources.
"We are beginning to see important public benefits arising from this new capability to apply digital search and analysis to news from our most pervasive and persuasive medium — television," said Roger Macdonald, the archive's television news project director. "Documentarians are finding key news footage to license. Educators are showing their students how news stories are told and audiences are engaged. Researchers are using it to identify important trends across the media landscape."
Since the digital library was founded in 1996, it has established new models for responsible digital conservation by partnering with public and private content creators, distributors, and repositories. To that end, funding from the Knight Foundation also supports the library's plans to integrate its news service with the collections of its media partners.
"TV stations capture some of the most important news events in a format that is too often locked away," said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation. "This project with the Internet Archive makes these important stories accessible to journalists, researchers, and the pubic through a deep, user-friendly site."