Enhanced 'Last 72 Hours' Option For Television Explorer

As researchers and journalists are increasingly using the Television Explorer to track coverage of and reaction to fast-moving events, there is an ever-growing need to be able to assess television news coverage as close as possible to the Archive's rolling 24-hour delay. Given the considerable complexities involved in monitoring and processing television news at scale, the Internet Archive's Television News Archive can take up to 72 hours from time of broadcast to fully process a given television news show through its full pipeline. This means that while a majority of television shows are available for search between 24 and 30 hours after broadcast, a smattering of shows will take up to 3 days to become available, making the results for the most recent three days incomplete.

By default, the Television Explorer continually assesses the status of each station and limits its search results to the most recent complete day of coverage, which is typically 2 days prior (the transition point is typically just after midnight UTC). In many cases, however, the majority of content for the period from 48 hours prior up to the hard 24 hour rolling delay is actually available for search, with perhaps just a single show not yet processed. Researchers that need complete results will obviously need to wait until all shows have completed, but for certain research and journalistic questions relating to breaking news, accepting nearly complete results may represent an acceptable tradeoff, especially if the period of interest represents just a few hours which are complete.

To assist with such use cases, the Television Explorer has long provided an option under its "Time Period" dropdown called "Past 72 Hours (Incomplete Results)". Historically this option in practice still did not allow exhaustive searching of the window from 24 hours ago to 48 hours ago due to limitations on index propagation across the underlying infrastructures. As GDELT continues racing forward to the launch of GDELT 3.0, underlying infrastructure changes now allow us to make shows available for search within 30 minutes of their becoming available after the rolling 24 hour window and thus as of today, selecting the "Last 72 Hours (Incomplete Results)" option in the Television Explorer will now return the best available results for the most recent 72 hours from the moment of search, containing every show that has completed the Archive's processing. Remember that these results are incomplete, but will enable research and journalistic questions that can tolerate incomplete result as a tradeoff of tracking breaking and fluid events as close as possible to the 24-hour rolling window.

For those using the TV 2.0 API directly, the "last24" URL parameter reflects these new behaviors.