Posted in Uncategorized

Network Puts Huge Video Online for Free

By Andrew Humphrey, CBM
Founder & Co-Chair, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force

C-SPAN just did the best thing any network can do.  It put nearly its entire video collection online for FREE!

As of 2010, the fly-on-the-wall footage goes back twenty-three years.  Consecutively, that’s five U.S. Presidents, twelve U.S. Representative terms and fourteen separate, overlapping U.S. Senate terms.

Politicians are not the only subjects of coverage.  There is a significant stockpile of commentary and activity of journalists, and it is super-easy to find.  The search portal is located on the homepage’s top left and is always there for you, and it’s extremely user-friendly.  After executing a search, results appear in the categories of persons, programs and transcripts.  Also, you can modify your search by date, topic or category with results changing on the fly without having to click and “ok” or “modify” button.

During my cursory use, I searched for “black journalists” and got back sixteen person results, fifty-two program results and “searching…” continued for transcripts with “exception” as the eventual result.  Maybe I should have made a more specific search to yield some transcripts.

NABJ Past President Bryan Monroe's picture from C-SPAN's image archive.

Remember when you saw the C-SPAN cameras at the NABJ conventions’ awards banquets or super sessions and attendees would star in their own little cameo role during the Q&A period or if they laughed especially hard at a joke or two?  Well, I decided to see if the coverage of NABJ2000 in Phoenix was present, and sure enough it was.  An August 18, 2000 video of Tom Joyner speaking about his “career in journalism and the importance of the African-American press.”

The oldest “black journalists” video result was from August 17, 1989.  The soon-to-be 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell spoke at the NABJ conference in New York City.

You do have a chance to own any of these videos on DVD, but you will have to dig into your wallet or purse.  The video player is easy to use.  My wireless cable modem handled the playback well.  The play slider allowed be to navigate to any point in the video.  The volume control is simple.  Videos are expandable to full screen, and it appears they can be share by email or embedding all or a portion of them into your web site.

If you are a video junkie like me, this digital treasure trove could keep you busy for hours.  I highly recommend you take C-SPAN for a spin!



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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