The Internet Archive, aggregator and digitizer of data, is making more than 350,000 news programs–from CNN, Fox News, PBS, CBC, ABC, NBC and others–available on its website 9/18. Even Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” is one of the 1,000 series that’s part of the new archive.
Brewster Kahle, founder of Richmond, CA-based Internet Archive, says overall, they want to collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans.
The archive’s online collection includes every segment of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news, reported The NY Times.
This latest effort is intended not only for researchers, Kahle told the paper, but also for average citizens: “The focus is to help the American voter to better be able to examine candidates and issues. If you want to know exactly what Mitt Romney said about health care in 2009, you’ll be able to find it.”
All of this will be available, free. Kahle said the method for the search for information would be the closed-captioned words that have accompanied the news programs. The user simply plugs in the words of the search, along with some kind of time frame, and matches of news clips will appear.
Kahle predicted there would often be hundreds of matches, but he said the system had an interface that would make it easy to browse quickly through 30-second clips in search of the right one. If a researcher wants a copy of the entire program, a DVD will be sent on loan.
The television news project, like his other archive projects, is financed mainly through outside grants, though Kahle did put up some of his own money to start. He said grants from the National Archives, the Library of Congress and other government agencies and foundations made up the bulk of the financing for the project. He set the annual budget at $12 million, and said about 150 people were working on the project.
The act of copying all this news material is protected under a federal copyright agreement signed in 1976. That was in reaction to a challenge to a news assembly project started by Vanderbilt University in 1968.
The archive has no intention of replacing or competing with the Web outlets owned by the news organizations. Kahle said new material would not be added until 24 hours after it was first broadcast. “We don’t expect this to replace CNN.com,” he said.