TV Archive: Search And Watch Every American News Broadcast Since 2009

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watch news broadcastQuickly search for and watch any sentence spoken on American TV news since 2009. It’s the latest offering from The Internet Archive, and it simply needs to be seen in order to be believed.

CNN, Fox New,s and MSNBC’s broadcast schedule in its entirety is backed up here, as is every major network’s nightly news programs and news magazines. Even The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are completely searchable on this single site – just type a term and if it shows up in the closed captioning records, you’ll see a video, instantly.

A total of 350,000 news programs are here, from the national news networks as well as local stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C., according to the services’ About page. New material is added a mere 24 hours after broadcast, meaning the entirety of at least two recent debates is already online and searchable.

There are some limitations: you can only watch clips in 30 second intervals, and there’s no built-in way to download them. But the intention is clear: allow anyone to find any soundbite, anytime. It’s particularly helpful in the lead up to the US elections next month.

“The focus is to help the American voter to better be able to examine candidates and issues,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, in and interview with the New York Times. “If you want to know exactly what Mitt Romney said about health care in 2009, you’ll be able to find it.”

Using the TV News Archive

To get started simple head to the Internet Archive’s TV News page. You’ll immediately be presented with a search box, which allows you to search the closed captioning text of most major TV news broadcasts since 2009.

You could use this to search for serious videos related to the issues of the day, finding perspectives from the past four years public figures have since changed their minds about. Or you could search for pandas.

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I searched for pandas, in an effort to remain politically neutral (and adorable).

watch news broadcast

Do your search and you’ll instantly see videos including the terms. Click any video to instantly watch it. At the top of the screen you’ll see a graph, pointing out how frequently the term was mentioned in broadcasts by day:

watch news broadcast online

Looking for a specific clip? The advanced search page lets you narrow the search down to a particular show, network or station. You can even add additional search terms.

watch news broadcast online

If something happened on TV news in the past few years you’ll find it.

Now for the bad news: there’s no embedding, at least not now. You can get a direct link to any 30-second segment you like, though.

watch news broadcast

You can also borrow a DVD with the clip in question from the archive; doing so means paying a few and returning the disc within 30 days. No licensing rights are given by borrowing.

I’d love to see links to other sites offering particular broadcasts, especially if the original broadcaster offers them freely. Maybe this feature is coming later, but even if it’s not it’s hard to complain about a service that makes TV news searchable.

Conclusion

The possibilites with this service are endless. Whether you want to find a soundbite to take out of context so you can make a clip of Obama begging HomeStarRunner to come back or research the various contradicting positions most political candidates take during the course of a campaign, this searchable archive of TV is available to you. And that’s amazing.

What clips did you find with this tool? Share your links below, along with any ideas you might have for using this information.

This is by no means the only service offered at Archive.org. They also offer over one million legal torrents and the Wayback machine, which lets you see how websites looked in the past.

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Comments (7)
  • Nikhil Chandak

    amazing & great American website ..
    to see wat happened in past’s news

  • Gary Mundy

    Well I’m thinking the last few years were more that a little depressing.
    Here is an Idea! Lets relive it.

    Oops sorry, I guess this will be another example of my run off at the mouth attitude.
    Ok if you can use it to embarrass politicians with something they said years ago. Go for it.

  • Siddhant Chaurasia

    Wow now i can see all my favourite and old shows

  • Harshit Jain

    It is like buying the history of 5 years to store personally!

  • Boni Oloff

    Cool, i try the archive.org it is using loan function, I hope it is streamed like youtube, but it is just let you borrow with a price, about 25USD..
    It is not worthed unless you really need the information from the past..

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.