TV News Visual Explorer: Announcing 98 Channels In 50 Countries In 35 Languages Over 20 Years

Today we are immensely excited to announce a new collaboration with the Internet Archive’s Television News Archive to make available in the TV News Visual Explorer a small selection of historical broadcasts from the remainder of the Archive’s international holdings adding 64 new channels across 35 additional countries and territories over the past 20 years. With these new additions, the Visual Explorer now encompasses selections from 98 channels spanning 50 countries and territories in 35 languages and dialects over 20 years on 5 continents.

Last month we unveiled the EMEA TV News Archive spanning 9 channels in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Today 49 new EMEA channels join that archive. The EMEA Archive is joined by the new Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin American (LATAM) Archives, meaning the Visual Explorer now spans television news from 5 continents.

Initially, just a few days of coverage are being made available from each channel to offer a glimpse of this immense and incredibly powerful new global archive. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be slowly expanding the broadcasts available in the Visual Explorer from these channels.

Unlike the previous Visual Explorer channels, the majority of these newly added channels are no longer being actively monitored by the TV News Archive. Most were archived for just a few months to a few years at some point during the last 20 years as the Archive explored what it would look like to preserve this ephemeral medium. Some channels were monitored for as little as a single day or a single show to capture a specific moment in time, such as those that were part of the Understanding 9/11 Archive. Some date all the way back to 2001. Taken together, they offer an unprecedented look at television news from around the world over the past nearly quarter century.

Like the EMEA collection, only the thumbnail galleries are viewable for these 64 new channels – the video clips are not yet playable. The Archive is considering the public interest benefits of converting the underlying archival video streams into web-playable video.  In the meantime, the thumbnail galleries alone make it possible to begin exploring this incredibly rich and unique collection and understand at a macro level the visual narratives and stories being covered. Using these thumbnails, if you find a broadcast of interest, you can also request a temporary library loan of that broadcast to view it via the Archive’s library loan program.

You can access this incredible archive through the TV Visual Explorer interface today! To get you started, we’ve selected a sample broadcast from each channel that gives a sense of their programming and some of the unique differences between them. When viewing a broadcast, use the forward and backward arrows at the top of the thumbnail display to move forward/backward to other available broadcasts from that channel. Once at least a few weeks of coverage from a given channel is available it will appear in the Visual Explorer’s calendar display and you can select any available day.

Although this new collection is not yet streamable, we are immensely excited about the academic and journalistic potential of this vast archive that spans five continents over more than two decades, opening unprecedented new opportunities for media scholars to explore the visual narratives of news from around the world.

Learn more about the Visual Explorer.
Launch TV Visual Explorer.