OT: Re: [LINK] Television archival

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Fri Nov 16 13:25:12 AEDT 2007

On 16/11/07 12:44 PM, "andrew clarke" <mail at ozzmosis.com> wrote:
> Of course this is assuming you are permitted access to the commercial
> broadcasters' archives.  I'm not sure they are under any legal
> obligation to provide a long-term archive for anything they air, let
> alone a way for the general public to search such an archive.  Ideally,
> such a beast would be searchable from any public library, so you could
> (for example) get a list of all the recordings of television interviews
> of PM John Howard in the last 10 years.

As a former broadcaster, I can say that the only "obligation" (as in legal
requirement) for broadcasters to archive their material is to keep a
"logging copy" of what goes to air. However, this only has to be kept for a
number of weeks, rather than years, in case someone lodges a formal

When I was in radio in the 1980s and 1990s (pre-digital), this was usually
done by keeping a set of very low-speed analog tapes, which were recording
what came out of a radio receiver tuned to our station. At the flowest speed
of the reeel-to-reel recorder, a full day's output could be recorded on one
track of a 10" tape. There were enough tapes to last about 8 weeks before
being re-used.

These logging tapes were appalling quality because they were (1) recording
off-air rather than from source, and (2) the slow recording speed. However
their sole function was as a legal reference.

Program producers often kept broadcast-quality copies of programs for a
period, and of course any significant documentaries etc were kept "forever"
-- the latter being defined as "until we're running out of tape and/or
storage space".



Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
Internet, IT and Media Consulting, Sydney, Australia
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