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Finally, comprehensive online television news archive by Internet Archive

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Today, the folks at Internet Archive launched a robust online collection of more than 340,000 TV news programs from the past three years. The service, aptly called, TV News Search Borrow is awesome for a number of reasons.

First, it is easy to find relevant news coverage on a specific topic. The search digs through caption information provided by the networks and ranks your results. This is a huge improvement over the tools currently out there for video producers to find news coverage.

Second, it is possible to narrow searches to a network, a program and a period of time. Once you select a clip from the results that clip is broken down into 30-second chunks with full transcription.

Third, when you pick a result it begins playing at the relevant moment (farewell scrubbing through YouTube clips hoping to stop in the right part). From there you can get a link to share or post a comment.

The commenting section is particularly interesting. Within any clip you can leave a comment at a specific timecode. The comment then shows up on the homepage so that other users can see what’s hot in the archive. This also makes it possible to curate content and over time this will develop into a type of ”crowdsourced bookmarking.”

Lastly, when I say archive, it is actually very current. In fact, once a news program is a day old it is added to the collection. Also, the service also follows the library model of loaning materials, so if you want to see the full-program you can borrow the DVD from the Internet Archive Library.

We gave a grant to Internet Archive for a training video, so as the training video aficionado at Sunlight Foundation, I got a pre-release walk through a couple of weeks ago. Currently, the video is in pre-production and it is my challenge to create a training video that is as compelling and useful as the service.

At Sunlight we are using the site to monitor the rise of news coverage of super PACs and dark money. How will you use TV News Search Borrow?