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Weekly News Digest

March 29, 2004 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Vanderbilt Television News Archive to Be Digitized

More than 30,000 videotaped hours of television news programming will be preserved digitally through a grant awarded to the Vanderbilt Television News Archive (http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/) by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Vanderbilt University officials announced that they had been notified that the grant for $281,154 had been approved. (For background on the archive, see the article in the October 2002 issue of Information Today: http://www.infotoday.com/it/oct02/hane.htm.)

At stake is an important and always-growing cultural history of the United States and a rich database for researchers investigating a wide array of issues, from bias in the news media to how advertising has changed over the years. The grant funds a 2-year project to transfer programming recorded by the archive dating back to 1968 from three-quarter-inch U-Matic videotape to MPEG-2 digital video. The three-quarter-inch videotape format is nearly defunct, with playback equipment and spare parts increasingly hard to find. The archive will have wider availability after the transfer to digital format. Currently, in order to view the material, researchers must either visit the archive in Nashville or request a videotape loan.

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive was conceived by the late Paul C. Simpson, a Nashville insurance executive and Vanderbilt alumnus. Simpson championed the concept of an independent archive for television news, and persuaded Vanderbilt University to take on the project initially as a 3-month experiment in 1968. The archive was sustained in its early years primarily through foundation funding. Recently, a fee-based subscription service has been launched to provide financial support. The Vanderbilt Television News Archive works in close partnership with the Library of Congress, which will be the permanent repository of the digital content it records.

Source: Vanderbilt University



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