NewsHour Online Video Archive

Posted in news, web at 12:04 am by danvk

jim_lehrer.jpgMad props to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer for creating an online video archive. The archive contains most segments from February 2000 onwards. This includes some rather momentous events, like the September 11, 2001 broadcast. I was in French class when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. A messenger came and told the teacher, but she decided the events weren’t significant enough to stop French class, or even to tell us what had happened! Ever since, I’ve wanted to watch the Today Show broadcast from that morning, to see the reactions right when it happened. NBC hasn’t opened their archives, but this is a step in the right direction.

The site has its problems. The streaming is a bit slow, and is only available in Real or Windows Media Player format. The “keyword search” is terrible. I suspect this will become yet another case where people will use Google in place of a site’s own search engine. It’s possible to view all the broadcasts for a specific date, but you’ll have to hack URLs to get at it. That September 11 URL I linked to above is


Just change the 091101 at the end to whatever date you like to view that day’s broadcasts. This is a pretty basic feature for a newscast video archive. It should have an interface. And the “Close Caption Transcript” popup reaches hitherto unexplored niches of Web UI weirdness.

The NewHour video archive is a wonderful resource. It has its UI problems. Its search is terrible. I wish it went back to 1975, when the NewsHour started. But this is a great start, and I’m sure more is yet to come. I hope other news shows take a cue from PBS and the NewsHour.

1 Comment

  1. danvk.org » NCAA tourney said,

    March 22, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    [...] year, for the first time, you can watch the games online with March Madness on Demand. As with the NewsHour Online Video Archive, there are still some kinks to work out. Biggest gripe: it only works in Internet Explorer 6 on [...]