TITLE: Vanderbilt Television News Archive

ACCESS: gopher tvnews.vanderbilt.edu
PRODUCER: Vanderbilt University
CONTACT: e-mail - tvnews@tvnews.vanderbilt.edu
PRINT VERSION: Television News Index and Abstracts

and TITLE: Journal Graphics
ACCESS: telnet database.carl.org
CARL Database Services/Information Databases/Journal Graphics (path may differ because CARL has more than one user interface) [also available as TRANSCRIPT through CompuServe]
PRODUCER: Journal Graphics
CONTACT: phone - (800) 825-5746
PRINT VERSION: Transcript/Video Index

Students interested in locating specific television news stories or visuals and media scholars studying news selection, news content, agenda setting, or news bias will find the Vanderbilt Television News Archive and Journal Graphics databases fascinating.

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive began recording television news in 1968. The Archive indexes and abstracts every story shown on the ABC, CBS, and NBC national news. A typical abstract includes the name of the network, time and date the segment aired, key words and names, names of reporters and people interviewed, and one sentence per scene describing the content and action shown on the screen. The Archive lists commercials by product or program name. Currently, Internet surfers may search 1983-84 and 1991-present (abstracting runs about one week behind) by date and/or by keyword(s). The Archives plan to make more years available in the future. In addition to the "Evening News Abstracts", the Archive also covers "Special Reports and Periodic News Broadcasts" like conventions and elections by expanding their scope to include news from CNN and programs like Nightline. They do the same for their "Specialized News Collections", which currently cover the Persian Gulf War and the 1991 USSR Coup Attempt. Vanderbilt lends copies of programs under the fair use provisions of copyright laws. They charge $60 per hour to copy and $180 per hour to compile tapes.

Journal Graphics began transcribing television and radio news programs for its clients in 1968. Their more than 80 programs range from national network news and news magazines to syndicated talk shows. They transcribe all news and information programs for ABC, CNN , PBS, CBS Radio, and NPR. A typical abstract includes reporter's names, a headline, the name of the program and the network, a one or two sentence summary, topical key words, names of guests, and the time and date the segment aired. Journal Graphics does not list commercials. Abstracts are available on CARL from 1981-present (abstracting runs a day or two behind) and may be searched by name of the correspondent or any key word in the abstract except air time and date. Journal Graphics provides no online help and virtually no database description. Journal Graphics charges $20 for a FAX, $15 for overnight mail, and $10 for U.S. mail delivery of transcripts.

The two databases complement each other well. Vanderbilt focuses on the national network news while Journal Graphics covers news magazines and documentaries. Vanderbilt lends tapes while Journal Graphics sends transcripts. With survey after survey showing that Americans watch television for their main source of news, these two databases will prove invaluable to libraries and their users.

Mark Emmons
Arts & Humanities Librarian
Occidental College
September 20, 1994

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