Access to Television's Past
Columbia Journalism Review
Saldich, Anne Rawley
Copyright (c) 1976 Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia Univeristy
Abstract: Until recently, television executives would not make copies of the news broadcasts available after their airing. It is a subtle form of news censorship. Access to records is the lifeblood of accountability but television news managers think an inquiry into their records is a threat to liberty. Paul Simpson founded the television news archive (T.N.A.) at Vanderbilt University when he learned that television news was not being preserved. He wanted televisionís record of the nationís affairs to become part of the public record. CBS is displeased with T.N.A.ís policies, which give access to video materials without CBS approval. their agreement with T.N.A. is carefully worded so as to give them control. CBS donates color cassettes with an index. NBC allows the taping of their news but doesnít offer an index. There is no agreement with ABC.