Tag: News

Internet Archive Third Eye Project


The team at the Internet Archive has taken on a project to capture, in pretty much real time, the chyrons – or better known as the narrative text – that appear at the bottom of the TV screen of various news networks such as CNN, FOX News, BBC and MSNBC. Amazingly, across just those networks, a total of 4 million of these snippets were collected in all of two weeks. But what is really brilliant is how they are actually collecting these snippets:

The work of the Internet Archive’s TV architect Tracey Jaquith, the Third Eye project applies OCR (ed: Optical Character Recognition) to the “lower thirds” of TV cable news screens to capture the text that appears there. The chyrons are not captions, which provide the text for what people are saying on screen, but rather are text narrative that accompanies news broadcasts.

Created in real-time by TV news editors, chyrons sometimes include misspellings. The OCR process also frequently adds another element where text is not rendered correctly, leading to entries that may be garbled. To make sense out of the noise, Jaquith applies algorithms that choose the most representative chyrons from each channel collected over 60-second increments. This cleaned-up feed is what fuels the Twitter bots that post which chyrons are appearing on TV news screens.

The Internet archive team has opened this up as an API for all to use, and they have also taken all of them and turned them into a Twitter feed.

Third Eye API: https://archive.org/services/third-eye.php
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/tracey_pooh/lists/third-eye

Someone is going to have a ton of fun with this.

Night Owls

This is interesting but not surprising. A recent study said that people check their social sites at all times of the day – morning, noon and night. Checking Facebook at 3AM in the morning? Seeing what folks are doing on Foursquare at 2:30AM on a Monday? You are not alone! What is most interesting is that folks are checking their social graph to find out what the big news of the day is. And we wonder why the big news organizations are struggling.