18 June 2014
Newspapers form the greater part of the British Library's news collections, by far, but they are not all that we have. Since May 2010 we have been recording television and radio news programmes broadcast in the UK, and now take in 60 hours of programmes per day, every day, from 22 channels, made available through our onsite Broadcast News service. We're just about to record our 50,000th news programme. This post is a guide to finding and using television and radio news programmes at the British Library.
What we record
The first official Broadcast News recording was made at 10pm, 6 May 2010. It was the day of the UK General Election, and as soon as the polls closed we flicked on the switches and started recording the election night coverage of BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4. After a cautious start, we raised the number of recordings we made per day in 2011, and today we record from 22 television and radio channels which are free-to-air in the UK (via Freeview or Freesat), approxumately 40 hours of television and 20 hours of radio.
We don't record every news programme broadcast in the UK, partly because of the large amount of repetition that is inevitable with 24-hours news channels. Instead we record roughly 13% of what is broadcast. These are the channels from which we record, with some of the key news programmes from each channel that we always cover.
- Al Jazeera English - News Hour, The Stream, Listening Post
- BBC One - Breakfast, News at Six, News at Ten, Andrew Marr Show
- BBC News - HARDtalk, morning and afternoon news programmes, The Papers
- BBC Parliament - ... in Parliament late night summary programme
- BBC Two - Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, Newsnight
- BBC Four - World News Today
- Bloomberg - The Pulse, Asia Edge, Charlie Rose
- CCTV News - China 24, News Hour, Africa Live
- Channel 4 - Channel 4 News
- CNN - CNN Newsroom, International Desk
- France 24 - News & Magazines
- ITV1 - Good Morning Britain, ITV News at Six, ITV News at Ten
- NHK World - Newsline, Asia This Week
- RT - Headline News, The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, Keiser Report, Sputnik with George Galloway
- Sky News - Sunrise, Sky News at 6, Sky News at 10, Press Review, Murnaghan
- BBC London - The Breakfast Show, Dotun Adebayo
- BBC Radio 1 - Newsbeat
- BBC Radio 4 - Today, PM, the World Tonight, News and Weather, The World This Weekend, Westminster Hour, Broadcasting House, Any Questions?/Any Answers?
- BBC 5 Live - 5 Live Breakfast, 5 Live Drive
- BBC World Service - Newshour, The Newsroom, From Our Own Correspondent
- LBC 97.3 - The Morning News, Nick Ferrari, Ken Livingstone & David Mellor, Kay Burley With Stig Abell
- talkSport - Drive Time - Adrian Durham & Darren Gough
We try to record the same news programmes each day, as researchers often want to follow how a story was reported through the one outlet over a period of time. But programmes come and go, and we keep our eye out for new news series as they emerge. We can't capture everything, but we hope to achieve a good mix of the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Where there major news stories which break through the usual news schedules, we record these usually for a 24-hour period, and across at least two channels. So we have thorough, multi-channel records of such news stories as the UK riots of 2011, the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the death of Nelson Mandela.
How to use Broadcast News
The Broadcast News service can only be used in the British Library's reading rooms, including the Newsroom. This is because we have to respect the copyright held in these programmes, so we do not make them available online. Within a reading room environment, we can offer the entire collection on an instant access basis, with most programmes being there to view within a few hours of broadcast. So if you come to the Newsroom to do some research say around 11:00am, the news programmes from that morning will be there waiting for you.
Basic catalogue records for our TV and radio news programmes can be found on Explore (type in the name of a news programme and refine the searching by Material type / Moving Image) or the Sound and Moving Image catalogue, though such records are not fully up-to-date as yet.
To access Broadcast News, all you need to do is to go to any British Library terminal (at our St Pancras or Boston Spa sites), and click on the Sound and Moving image link on the welcome page. This will take you to the page illustrated below, with links to Broadcast News and other sound and moving image services that we provide onsite.
Sound and Moving Image page
Click on Broadcast News, and this will take you to the front page shown at the top of this post. There are then three ways of searching the collection. You can click on one of the images on the front page and that will take you to the latest programmes from nine of the most popular channels. You can use the search box at the top of the screen to search under any word or programme title. Or you can use Advanced Search to narrow searches down by channel or date.
The search results page looks like this:
Broadcast News search results page
Click on any one of these records and this will take you to the full programme playback page, or use the filter options on the left-hand side to refine the results by date, channel or medium (i.e. TV or radio).
Broadcast News is dependent on the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for its catalogue data. EPG data gives you the channel, date, title and time of a programme, but for news programmes it usually only gives a generic description (e.g. "A round-up of the main news stories of the morning..."). This isn't too useful for someone looking for a particular subject, but happily we are able to capture the subtitles for 50% of the television programmes that we record - for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News (other news channels such as CNN and Al Jazeera English do not come with subtitles). This makes many of our programmes fully word-searchable, greatly increasing their value to researchers.
Sky News coverage of the UK riots, 9 August 2011, with subtitles on the right-hand side
The subtitles play alongside the video, rather than as part of it. It is possible to search for a word within the subtitles (use the 'filter' option) or to scroll through the subtitles while the video is playing. If you click on any subtitle, you will be taken to that place in the video. We also capture still images from the broadcasts, one every five seconds. If you go to the Frames option on the playback page, you will see them all, which therefore enable you to browse through a programme by its imagery. Click on any such image, and again you will be taken to that place in the video.
There is much more that we want to do to improve Broadcast News, by making those programmes without subtitles (and radio programmes of course) word-searchable as well, for which we have been investigating speech-to-text technologies. We also want to improve discovery by pointing researchers to individual stories within a news programme. Such developments will take time, however.
Why broadcast news?
And why is the British Library recording television news programmes? Because they are uniquely informative about the world today. Because television news has the highest use and greatest influence of all the news media in the UK, as many polls have demonstrated. Because newspapers can no longer be considered in isolation as a news publication. Because researchers have had huge difficulties in the past gaining access to television news programmes en masse. And because television news affects how we see the world in a profound way, one that commands respect but also demands the sort of intelligent analysis that scholarly research exists to provide.
Finding out more
- There is a more detailed guide to finding and using our television and radio news holdings on this Help page
- A short collection guide to our television and radio news holdings is here
- The Recording Mandela post on this blog explains how we went about recording the many news programmes on the death of Nelson Mandela
- The URL for Broadcast News is http://videoserver.bluk - but please note this will only work if you are on British Library premises and using a British Library terminal
- We welcome any feedback on the Broadcast News service - just email us at email@example.com
13 June 2014
Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.
Stop sharing this photograph of antisocial newspaper readers: This much retweeted and shared photograph of a train carriage full of newspaper readers has been viewed by many as a comment on an anti-social past age. Medium makes a strong argument why this is a complete misunderstanding of how a newspaper is consumed.
... what you are seeing in that picture of “antisocial” people reading newspapers is actually an eminently social activity: citizens keeping themselves informed so they can participate in the civic discourse of their community.
Enabling access to digitised historic newspapers: We held a Europeana Newspapers event here at the British Library, on assorted issues relating to the digitisation of newspapers, with interesting contrasts between traditional browsing and big data analytical approaches, and between free and paid access services. The link is to a Storify collection of tweets, links and slideshows from the day (fun to put together - will be doing more of these).
Broadcasting D-Day: The BBC's recreation of radio broadcasts from D-Day by using digitised scripts and actors (Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Patrick Stewart) made a powerful impact and was a fitting tribute on the 70th anniversary of the landings. The BBC radio scripts come from the British Library, and this post gives the background.
Digital News Report 2014: Eagerly devoured and much commented upon has been the latest annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report, the result of a survey of digital news consumption in UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and Finland. Among the key findings are:
- The use of smartphones and tablets has jumped significantly in the past year, with fewer people using their computers for news
- More than a third of online news users across all countries (39%) use two or more digital devices each week for news and a fifth (20%) now say their mobile phone is their primary access point
- US social sharing news sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed are beginning to make inroads around the world, with new formats and a fresh tone of voice aimed at younger people
- Even so, traditional brands remain strong in most markets, with cross-platform newspaper reach averaging 75% in most countries
- The number of people paying for digital news (11% average) has remained stable over the past 12 months, although there is a significant switch to more valuable ongoing digital subscription in most countries
- Of those paying for news in all countries, 59% are paying for an ongoing subscription (43% 2013). Of those who are not paying, 15% say they are likely to pay in the future
- Facebook is by far the most important network for news everywhere
- Although Twitter is widely used in the US, Spain, and the UK, it is far less influential in many other European countries. Google+ is emerging as increasingly important for news, along with messaging application WhatsApp
Robert Peston’s speech: Hotly discussed all week has been Robert Peston's British Journalism Review Charles Wheeler lecture, where he queries James Harding's statement (given in his WT Stead lecture at the British Library), "I think this is the most exciting time to be a journalist since the advent of television". Peston is not so sanguine, seeing threats in online culture, reader power, and the power of the public relations industry. He concludes:
...we don’t yet have what you might call a stable ecosystem in news. The poll-tax funded BBC is one kind of news-media model. The loss-making Guardian, funded by vast private-equity capital gains, is another. The Daily Mail another still. And Quartz, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed something different again. There is diversity – which all ecologists would tell you is vital to long-term survival. But there is also pollution, from a dangerous elision between news that pays and news that matters.
Why would anyone want to be a journalist?: But then there's Sarah Hartley at Contributoria, who speaks to several journalists about the hazards and frustrations of their occupation, and finds the answer to her question in these words from photographer Giles Duley (a triple-amputee after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan):
It’s about storytelling for me. There are these incredible stories out there and I think I follow a tradition that started around camp fires, in caves around ten thousands of years ago and there’s an innate need for people to tell stories and to hear stories and I just love being part of that tradition and so I’ll carry on doing it.
The Sun Launches A £4.2 Billion Marketing Campaign?: The Sun is delivering a free special World Cup issue to 22 million UK homes over a 48-hour period (avoiding Hillsborough). Chris Brace at the Brown Moses blog notes that the giveway lacks the imprint that identifies the publication as a newspaper. The fine for breaching this legal requirement can be up to £200 per copy. 200 x 22M = £4.4Bn. That's a quite fine...
Not Everyone Is Happy About The Sun’s “This Is Our England” Front Page: Patrick Smith at Buzzfeed rounds up some less than complimentary reactions to the great free Sun giveaway. There's even a @PostTheSunBack campaign.
Internet not responsible for dying newspapers, new study finds: Riding against the general trend of argument is a paper by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Matthew Gentzkow, which says that comparisons between the internet and newspaper are based on some false assumptions. ScienceDaily summarises these.
A year on Guardian continues to face derision from Fleet Street rivals over Edward Snowden revelations: Press Gazette reviews the opinions expressed about Edward Snowden in other British newspapers, which are distinctly unimpressed.
Time Inc. Has a Big Problem - So Does Digital Journalism: Derek Thompson at The Atlantic feels that the future looks bright for digital journalism as a product, but dim for large-scale digital journalism as a business.
Victorian Meme Machine: Bob Nicholson of Edge Hill University is one of two winners of our BL Labs competition for innovative ideas to use digital collections. His Victorian Meme Machine will create an extensive database of Victorian jokes, drawn from newspapers etc, and pair them with an appropriate image drawn from BL and other digital collections.
Annotating the news: Intriguing piece by Jihii Jolly for Columbia Journalism Review on student news literacy and annotation tools.
The BBC was impervious to the launch of Sky News. Now they have to take notice: Ian Burrell at The Independent interviews Sky News editor John Ryley, who is full of plans, is disparagaing of ITV's attitude towards news, and states firmly: “The future for news is on mobile.”
European newspapers search for ways to survive digital revolution: A Guardian survey of how newspapers in Spain, France and Germany are struggling (belatedly) to find ways to make money as print sales plummet.
16 Pictures Of Beyoncé Where She’s Not Sinking In Quicksand: The Onion has launched Clickhole, its parody site for 'clickbait' viral sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Not super-funny yet, but we have hope.
Why banish words from the front page?: The sharply opinionated Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley blog is critical of sloppy front page design in some UK regional newspapers, and thoughtful on the reasons why.
Newspaper printed with ink that repels mosquitoes: This is such a heartening story - a Sri Lankan newspaper has come up with Mawbima Mosquito Repellent Paper, printed using bug-repelling ink, as part of campaign to help prevent the spread of Dengue fever. Probably a bit of a preservation challenge though...
Chatting with bots: How Slack is changing how newsrooms talk amongst themselves: Nieman Journalism Lab on Slack, a chat application being used in the newsrooms of The Times, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, Quartz, Slate, NBC News, The Guardian and more.
Kevin Turvey investigates ... the media: RIP Kevin Turvey, peerless investigative reporter from Reddtich, aka Rik Mayall.
10 June 2014
The 70th anniversary of D-Day was widely commemorated across the news media. One of the most striking ways in which the history was made real was the BBC's use of contemporary radio broadcasts and readings from original radio news scripts to bring the past back into the present. Broadcast at their correct times and dates, seventy years on, the scripts are part of the British Library's collection, and we were delighted to be able to work with the BBC to make a small selection of them available, as broadcasts, and to be read online.
BBC radio news script, 8am, 6 June 1944 © BBC, held by the British Library
The broadcasts went out on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service news programmes, and on iPlayer, with the scripts being read out by Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones and Patrick Stewart. They were read by actors because for many of these news programmes the original broadcast no longer survives, though happily two original recordings for 1944 delivered by John Snagge and Richard Dimbleby were also made available. Digitised copies of the scripts have been published online alongside the sound recordings.
- The readings, accompanied by the digitised scripts are here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zkdry
- A BBC Magazine piece on D-Day, constructed out of its news reports from the time, and including original recordings and digitised scripts, is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27701206
- Images of BBC reporting of D-Day are provided on this gallery: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/galleries/p01zfk27
- A short history of the BBC in wartime: http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/resources/bbcatwar/index.shtml
The British Library's collection of BBC radio scripts runs from 1937 to 1972 (a set held on microfilm extend the collection to 1983). There are some gaps, particularly for the 1930s, but from the war years onwards the collection is a reasonably comprehensive record of what was broadcast by the BBC at different times of the day to UK audiences (the collection does not include scripts for broadcasts aimed at overseas audiences). For the latter years there are television news scripts as well.
This is a huge collection - there can be up to 200 pages of script for one day - and at present it remains uncatalogued. This D-Day collaboration with the BBC is a first effort at making the collection successful, and we hope to work with them in the future (including the near future) on opening up the collection to a general audience and to research.
The Second World War was when the BBC fully established itself as a service speaking to the UK nation as a whole, establishing its reputation and the expectations that have been subsequently placed upon it. It became the vital information source, as the people of the United Kingdom followed each step of war (military censorship notwithstanding) by listening to their radios, particularly the daily nine o'clock evening broadcast.
The effect created by the D-Day scripts and their re-readings shows what power lies in the contemporary account, particularly when we see it in the form of a typescript, with pencilled amendments, and that red stamp that says that the text has been 'Passed for Security'. The unemotional, almost matter-of-fact tone of the scripts contrasts vividly the enormity of the events that they are describing, as history was made by the hour. News turns into history then turns into news again. If we do not quite feel that we were there, we do feel that much closer a bond with those who were.
04 June 2014
The Newsroom is the British Library's new dedicated reading room for researching its news collections. It is located on the second floor of the Library's site at St Pancras in London. This post is an overall guide to what researchers can expect to find in the Newsroom.
The Newsroom is in two sections: the main reading room, which delivers access to the news collections and is open to anyone with a British Library reader's pass; and the networking area, a research space open to anyone which displays live news on screens from a variety of sources.
You can find most of our news collections through the British Library's main catalogue, http://explore.bl.uk. News items can be searched for by title, any word from a title, place name, or word in the catalogue record. Some of our television and radio news records can be found on Explore, but we are still adding records. The full collection can be found via Broadcast News (see below). Our web news collection needs to be searched separately (see below).
To access anything from our news collections you will need a free Reader Pass - guidelines on how to obtain a pass are available here.
You can order items before your visit using http://explore.bl.uk.
The main room has 110 desks, of which 58 are clear Reader desks, 40 have microfilm viewers plus access to electronic resources, and 8 have dedicated electronic resources terminals.
We offer self-service facilities for making copies from print, microfilm and digital newspapers, subject to preservation and copyright restrictions. There are 3 printers in the Newsroom, and 1 print release station. We have a wide range of news media reference works available on open access, including such titles as Willing's Press Guide and the Times Index.
We collect nearly all newspapers published in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with some 60 million issues going back to the early 1600s. We currently receive around 1,500 newspaper titles on a daily or weekly basis, and nearly 100 titles from overseas. Because the main print newspaper collection is currently in transit from its former home in Colindale to our Newspaper Storage Building in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, the newspapers will not become available in the Newsroom until autumn 2014.
There are 15 microfilmed newspaper titles available immediately via open access, while anything from our main collection of 625,000 reels of microfilmed newspapers is available for delivery within 70 minutes, or can be ordered in advance by using http://explore.bl.uk. Appropxiately one third of our newspaper collection is available on microfilm. The 15 titles available for immediate access are:
- Daily Mail 1896-2009
- Daily Telegraph 1855-2009
- Daily Worker 1930-1960
- Evening Standard 1860-June 2010
- Financial Times 1888 onwards
- Guardian 1821 onwards
- Independent 1986 onwards
- Independent on Sunday 1989 onwards
- Mail on Sunday 1982-2009
- Morning Star 1966-2009
- News of the World 1843-2011
- Observer 1791 onwards
- Sun 1964-2009
- Sunday Telegraph 1961-2009
- The Times 1785 onwards
Our specialist microfilm readers enable the microfilmed images to be viewed on a digital screen, and can be rotated to suit the shape on a newspaper if required. They offer the ability to zoom in and out, crop, adjust focus, brightness, contrast, and de-skew the image.
We provide access to a wide range of digitised newspapers and other electronic news collections, both those derived from our own holdings and the digital collections of third parties. This includes:
- British Newspaper Archive
- British Newspapers 1600-1950
- Gale News Vault
- Readex World Newspaper Archive
- ProQuest Historial Newspapers
All of our electronic news resources are listed at http://www.bl.uk/eresources/main.shtml and all can be seen for free in the Newsroom.
Television and radio news
We have almost 50,000 television and radio news programmes recorded since May 2010 available onsite via the Broadcast News service. This can be accessed by using the link to Sound and Moving Image collections given on the home page of the Library terminals. There are recordings taken from 22 channels:
- Al Jazeera English
- BBC One
- BBC News
- BBC Parliament
- BBC Two
- BBC Four
- CCTV News
- Channel 4
- France 24
- NHK World
- Sky News
- BBC London
- BBC Radio 1
- BBC Radio 4
- BBC 5 Live
- BBC World Service
Most programmes are available in the Newsroom from the day of broadcast. We only record news and news-related programmes.
Separately we provide access to BBC programmes via the BBC Catalogue service. This has some 2 million BBC catalogue records from the 1950s to 2012, with around 200,000 playable television and radio programmes broadcast 2007-2012. This can be accessed by using the link to Sound and Moving Image collections given on the home page of the Library terminals.
We provide access to over 4.8 million UK websites archived since 2013 as part of the Legal Deposit Web Archive. This archive can be accessed by using the link to Web Archives collections given on the home page of the Library terminals. The collection includes over 500 news-based websites archived on a frequent basis, including most UK national newspaper sites and many regional sites, which can be searched as a discrete collection.
The networking area is open to anyone. It has seating for over 30, with cubicles, and many charging points. The area's Video Wall features live television news, a rotating display of live news websites (all sites archived by the Library) and the Newsmap news aggregator site. We refresh the content on the Video Wall periodically.
Above the cubicles we project live tweets from around 100 news websites that we archive, including international, national and regional titles.
9.30-17.00 Fri - Sat
We are organising a series of regular workshops on using the news collections, both general guides and introductions to particular parts of the collection. See http://www.bl.uk/reader-workshops.
Finding out more
The Newsroom has leaflets aavailable on the news collections and their use.
Our newspaper reference team can give help on using the Newsroom and finding items, though we cannot undertaken in-depth research requests. You can contact us online via http://www.bl.uk/reference-contacts.
Guide to the collection and its use are given on our web pages at http://www.bl.uk/subjects/news-media.
You can follow discussion about news and news collections via the Newsroom blog at http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/thenewsroom.
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter too: @BL_newsroom
21 May 2014
'The Concept of News' was the title of a symposium organised by The Newsreel Network and held over 20-21 May at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen. The Newsreel Network is a collection of scholars interested in newsreel research, convened by the University of Lund in Sweden, newsreels being a common feature of cinema programmes in many countries between the 1910s and the 1960s. I was there
- because I have a particular interest in newsreels
- because the theme touched on all news media and I am interested in how newspapers, television news, radio news, newsreels and other media have interoperated
- because it was a gathering of some fine scholars from several countries
- because I was giving a talk on archiving news at the British Library
- because they paid me to go
The purposes of research networks such as these is to bring together scholars with interest in a common theme, to learn from one another’s research through the presentation of short papers, and to discover through discussion practical ways in which to further research in the field. Despite all the social interaction that goes on online, it still helps hugely to meet actual humans face-to-face, and a two-day symposium for fifteen or so people can be more productive in helping to shape an agenda and construct practical plans than a formal conference.
The full title of the symposium was ‘The Concept of News: Scandinavian and Global Perspectives’, and there were several short papers on newsreel research in the Scandanavian countries, as well as Belgium and East and West Germany, focussing on the subjects of the Cold War and the Suez Crisis. The latter was chosen as a useful example for cross-comparing how different national newsreels treated the same topic, often with the same footage – there were few camera teams on the spot during Suez and what was filmed was pooled to other news organisations – but with dramatically different interpretations of that footage in the respective commentaries.
A paper I particularly liked was given by Tore Helseth of Lillehammer University College. He has found paper records of what international newsreels were shown in one small Norwegian town during the 1950s, and contents lists for those newsreels. This is a precious discovery, because for many countries barely any records survive that document what the contents were of the newsreels and when they were issued. In the UK we are fortunate that a huge amount of newsreel documentation survives. In America, by contrast, a vast amount of documentation has been lost, and the survival rate of the films themselves is sadly poor.
Most of the remainder of the symposium was given over to broader issues about news archives and the definition of news itself. These issues matter for us at the British Library, not simple because we what is probably the world’s largest news archive, but because we are looking to move from being a newspaper archive to becoming an archive for news in all its forms. This raises interesting issues of definition. How far does the idea of news stretch? Does it include any kind of information delivered to an audience at a particular time, or does it lie specifically in those media which identify themselves as being carriers of news, such as newspapers?
Professor Brian Winston of the University of Lincoln, talked about news vs information in his paper, which was a response to the recent book by Andrew Pettegree, The Invention of News, a history of the production of news 1400-1800 (previously covered by this blog). For Winston, Pettegree has failed to distinguish between a history of the delivery of plain information and a history of news, which is something mediated, always biased in one way or another, propagandist in the broadest sense, and never – in an absolute sense – true. He called on many early examples of news as an emerging form, starting with Galbert of Bruges, a lawyer driven to write a report on the assassination of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders on 2 March 1127, to a 1499 woodcut of Vlad the Impaler to show how news is a political tool, to Ben Jonson’s 1625 play The Staple of News, a satire on the proto-newspapers (corantos) being published in London, which includes these striking words:
We not forbid that any News be made,
But that't be printed; for when News is printed,
It leaves, Sir, to be News...
Act 1 Scene V
Winston concluded with the eternal truth, attributed to New York Sun editor John B. Bogart, “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news”.
I enjoyed Winston’s provocative analysis, but for me the definition of news lies not in its producers but in its consumers. News is something that we seek out when we want to understand what is happening in our world, and plays a vital role in how we understand our place in that world. We seek it out from multiple newsforms, be that newspapers, TV, radio, web, pr mobile apps, and in past times from a medium such as the newsreels. Newsreels are important to this multimedia sense of the news, because they were the first news medium that consciously positioned itself as one link in the chain of news provision. Newsreels were issued once or twice a week, so they were always late with the news, but they understood from when they first emerged in the 1910s that their audience already knew what the news was – be that from newspapers or later radio. They added more to the understanding people had of what was news to them by providing it in motion pictures. They were built on choice. They played a key part in what it is to be modern: we the audience being given the tools with which to pick and choose how we build up the picture of our world. This applies many times over today, with the multifarious news (and information) outlets available that threaten at times to overwhelm us. The news is made by us.
The symposium included some papers on radio news, which provided useful comparisons across the two news media. There was an interesting tension throughout the two days, between viewing the newsreels as a news medium (one which often fell short when it came to reporting ‘hard’ news) and viewing them for their own sake, as a distinctive product of the cinema entertainment industry rather than the news industry, as Sara Levavy of the Cortauld Institute argued. In truth, both definitions apply. Newsreels entertained, and they informed. That they informed best by their dependence on other news media, notably newspapers, to set the agenda, makes them interesting for news history itself, and helps illuminate how newspapers themselves worked for their public throughout much of the twentieth century.
02 May 2014
Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.
Robert Peston speaking at the launch of the Newsroom
Open for business: Well, we've been busy this week. The British Library's Newsroom was officially launched by the Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, on Monday 28 April, with a star turn from the BBC's Robert Peston, before a gathering of journalists, media commentators, educationalists, British Library staff and ordinary users of our newspaper collection and other news services. There was a promotional video, a TV news package that appeared on many regional newspaper sites, and widespread media coverage (I think my favourite was Us vs Th3m's breathless 'The British Library is now improved with ARCHIVE ROBOTS'). The Newsroom's own blog post looks behind the scenes at the manufacutring of our own news event.
A strategy for news: On the day of the Newsroom launch we published a summary of our news content strategy for 2014-2017. It points the way for turning a world-class newspaper service into a world-class news service, by collecting (or connecting to) not only newspapers, but television news, radio news and web news.
Sajid Javid: Hacking down to 'bad apples' - press freedom 'cornerstone of democracy': The new Culture Secretary says it is up to press industry to decide how to proceed with regulation following the phone hacking scandal, reports Press Gazette.
Announcing FB Newswire, Powered by Storyful: Facebook and social news agency Storyful (owned by News Corp) have launched FB Newswire, which describes itself as "a resource for journalists that aggregates newsworthy social content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations" and could be a significant development in (social) news gathering. Facebook's Newsroom explains the background.
Local TV plan on the rocks as funding frozen, while London Live head quits: Oh dear. Plans for a network of local TV stations appear to have hit the rocks, while the chief programmer of London Live (which shares an owner with the Evening Standard, which has liberally promoted the channel) quit following terrible viewing figures, including near zero for some news programmes.
Nate Silver’s advice to young journalists: Learn to code now: Emily Bell gave a scintiallating lecture at the British Library on automated journalism, which we'll be blogging about in due course. One of the themes she raised was the advantages of journalists being able to code, and others have raised the same issue this week. US news media star Nate Silver tells Geekwire that “If you’re an aspiring journalist who knows how to code really well, you are in a very hot market”, and Richard Sambrook argues that "journalists can learn lessons from coders in developing the creative future".
Ofcom should be looking again at Putin's TV news channel: Steve Bloomfield at The Guardian is appalled by the news coverage from RT (formerly Russia Today), which is readily available to UK viewers (and programmes from which are recorded daily for the British Library's Broadcast News service).
Anyone who has tired of Sky News's endless reporting of the Oscar Pistorius trial or CNN's down-the-rabbit-hole coverage of the hunt for Flight MH370 would accept that the world of 24-hour TV news could do with an alternative voice. But propaganda for an autocratic government and conspiracy theories linked to antisemitism are not an alternative anyone should be comfortable with.
Paying for online news: Dominic Ponsford at Press Gazette considers the mixed lessons to be learned from the Telegraph's metered paywall, one year on from its introduction.
Journalists' sources are no longer safe in Australia: Paul Farrell at The Guardian worries how Australia's Telecommunications Interception and Access Act 1979 could permit government agencies instantaneously to track down journalists’ sources.
ITV’s new breakfast show divides opinion: Four presenters at a single desk (plus weather reporter standing awkwardly by), fast pace, US feel, and star acquisition in Susanna Reid: ITV's Good Morning Britain launched on Monday and has had mixed reviews so far, as in this Metro report. But no one is saying bring back Daybreak.
Print is not the future, but it's not the past either: Peter Preston at The Observer thinks print's not dead yet - not while the industry has yet to work out how to make money from digital.
Revealed: The top 10 regional papers on Twitter: interesting list from Hold the Front Page of the top ten UK regional newspapers with the largest number of followers on Twitter. The Liverpool Echo's @LivEchonews comes out top with 136K followers. But what do they mean by saying that 77 newspapers in the UK are using Twitter? Our figures here suggest well over 350 do so...
Fears grow that the BBC News Channel could become online only: Could the BBC News 24-hour channel go online-only (as has been suggested will happen to BBC30 as part of BBC cost-cutting plans. Ian Burrell at The Independent asks the questions.
The Onion sets its sights on BuzzFeed, Upworthy: At last, The Onion is to set its sights on the listmania of quasi-news sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy with a new site to mock the whole concept called Clickhole (launches in June). Unless the news about this is a spoof itself...
Max Clifford has finally got some of his own medicine: Max Clifford has been found guilty of eight counts of indecent assault, and schadenfraude reigns in the media world. At The Drum one "master of spin" Richard Hillgrove considers the downfall of another.
An incomplete list of things which are going to shape the next journalism: George Brock's latest wise overview of how journalism is changing, with seven issues that all in the industry need to be asking themselves.
BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust: You can trust The Register to have taken a less than deferential apporoach to the BBC Trust's report Getting the best out of the BBC for licence fee payers: BBC Trust Review, BBC Network News and Current Affairs.
Once the BBC was un-ignorable, whatever age you might be. Today, half of under-25s and two thirds of under-20s ignore it completely. And even online, apathy reigns: the corporation's digital share has increased from only 24 per cent of adults in 2012 to 26 per cent today.
We haven’t even scratched surface of explainer journalism: Adam Tinworth at journalism.co.uk looks at the US phenomenon of explainer/exploratory/data/call-it-what-you-will journalism and argues that we need to "rethink our content models to make our journalism relevant for a digital age".
Jeremy Paxman to step down as presenter of Newsnight: The nation's favourite torturer of politicians is standing down in June.
28 April 2014
The British Library is close to completing its £33M, seven-year Newspaper Programme, designed to ensure the long-term preservation of the UK's collection of newspapers by building a dedicated store in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, closing down the former Newspaper Library at Colindale and opening a new reading room for newspapers at its St Pancras site, the Newsroom. It has also partnered with DC Thomson Family History to digitise 40 million newspaper pages over a period of ten years (2010-2020).
Recently we have been looking to the future and developing a news content strategy to guide collection development over the next four years. Simply put, at a time when the production and consumption of news are changing radically, the strategy points the way for turning a world-class newspaper service into a world-class news service. On the day of the official launch of the Newsroom, this is an overview of our strategy for news 2014-2017.
Newspaper volumes for various national titles from the British Library collection. We have over 660,000 bound and boxed volumes of newspapers, a third of which are also available on microfilm, while 2% has been digitised. Our policy is that users should consult microfilm or digital alternatives to the print copy where these are available.
The news media are undergoing significant change, with a move from print to digital and news organisations increasingly viewing themselves as being news providers rather than simply newspaper publishers. The Guardian's shift in strategy from 'from a print-based organisation to one that is digital-first in philosophy and practice' is symptomatic of changes impacting across the industry. News is gathered and composed digitally, and then transmitted through a variety of media, one of which – for the time being – remains the print newspaper. Moreover, the idea itself of who produces the news is being challenged by the rise in ‘citizen journalism’ and the way social media can be used by anyone to break a news story.
This model applies equally to the past. News does not exist, and probably never has existed, through one medium. It is we, the readers, who construct the news by selecting from the variety of forms on offer. Users should be able to discover and comprehend whatever the news choices were at whatever point in time that they choose.
NHK World TV coverage of the tsunami of 11 March 2011, from the British Library's Broadcast News collection. Though NHK World is a Japanese station, it is available in English free-to-air in the UK via Freesat and so falls within our definition of 'news produced in the UK or which has had an impact on the UK'.
Our news content strategy has been developed in the context of the Library's overall 2012-2015 Content Strategy, which sets out the Library’s three-fold role: to develop the national published archive through legal deposit; to support UK research through collecting and connecting to contemporary content; and to support research and culture through developing world-class primary research collections.
The news content strategy keeps within this framework, and has these key objectives:
The Library’s news offering should incorporate the full range of news media – newspapers, news websites, television news, radio news, and other media – through a combination of legal deposit, purchase and voluntary deposit, capture through copyright exception, and connecting to both licensed content and content shared with strategic partners.
The Library should view news as part of the broader media landscape, finding the news content it requires by collecting or connecting to the UK media world (print, web, audiovisual), of which news forms a fundamental part.
The Library's news content should comprise primarily news most relevant to UK users, meaning news produced in the UK or which has had an impact on the UK.
News content that falls outside the definition of news produced in the UK or which has impacted upon the UK should be covered by other subject-led areas of the content strategy.
The content strategy for news media is underpinned by legal deposit collecting, both print and non-print, but incorporates audiovisual media that lie outside legal deposit.
The Library must be a champion of regional news, including regional newspapers, hyperlocal websites, community radio and regional television news.
The Library primarily collects and connects to published news, not raw news data.
The Library's news content (or news data) should be made as widely available as possible to UK audiences, offering content online through licence, subscription, copyright exception and partnership arrangements, as well as maintaining physical research centres in London and Boston Spa.
The Library recognises that the concept of ‘news’ can be expanded to embrace anything of relevance to a particular community at a particular point in time, which long-term could have considerable impact on how it describes content and the services that it offers.
The Library's radio news collections including daily recordings made of LBC programmes. We are seeking ways of making radio (and television) programmes as word-searchable as printed sources, to create equality of searching across the different news media.
News today and yesterday
The British Library's news collection needs to be considered in two ways: the cumulative historical corpus, and the current and ongoing collection. Stressing news currency will be an important element of the Library’s position as a news centre, capturing the world’s matters today while illustrating that behind every such story lies a history that the Library can help uncover. The Newsroom is an expression of this intention, offering the best possible service for the researcher of yesterday's news while highlighting the news we are collecting today.
We already have 60 million newspaper issues (from the 1600s onwards), 25,000 news-based websites (archived since 2013) and over 40,000 television and radio programmes (mostly recorded since 2010). The collection grows by over 2,400 news publications each week - 1,500 newspapers, 500 news websites, 280 television news programmes and 140 news radio programmes. Our task will then be not simply to collect, preserve and make accessible these different news forms, but to facilitate the connections between them.
Our overall aims for the individual news media are:
Newspapers: To continue to collect UK and Irish newspapers under legal deposit, with a managed transition from print to digital collecting, but with the default position remaining print.
Television: To record and deliver access to representative content from all television news channels available free-to-air in UK from 2010 onwards, while connecting to historical television news archives.
Radio: To capture through off-air recording a substantial proportion of the UK’s radio news output as part of an emerging national radio archive offering, while continuing to preserve and make accessible heritage radio collections.
Web: To capture selected news-based sites crawled on a high-frequency basis, as well as an annual UK web crawl, including multimedia content as far as possible; to capture selected examples of news-based social media.
Other media: To collect and connect to a range of content beyond the traditional understanding of what constitutes news, testing the viability of such an extension of service through pilot projects.
By 2017 we will aim to have achieved the following main goals:
The acquisition of 400,000 additional newspapers (individual issues), for which the annual intake in 2017 will be 25% digital, with an ‘iconic’ 5% collected in both print and digital forms.
A 5% fall in newspaper intake by reducing the number of heavily advertising-based titles.
A critical mass of digital news content across different media, including 30M digitised newspaper pages, 100,000 television news recordings, 100,000 radio news recordings, 1.5M news web pages, and connection to 3M news records from external sources.
An increased number of partners (and content made available through partners).
New research outputs based on interlinked news media resources.
Increased citations of audio-visual news media in scholarly publications.
Recognition by academic researchers, creatives, family historians and the news industry of the Newsroom as essential to the discovery, understanding and reuse of news content.
Over 500 UK news websites are being archived on a daily or weekly basis under the new non-print Legal Deposit regulations introduced in 2013, including online-only news publications such as the Exeter Daily.
A sense of the now
These four statements represent our overall vision for news at the British Library - the world of news research that we want to encourage.
A British Library news collection and service that is not constrained by one form but embraces all the different news media, created through a combination of legal deposit, voluntary deposit and connecting to content both licensed and shared with strategic partners.
The British Library becomes a news centre, serving scholarly, commercial and personal researchers, both onsite and remote.
A resource discovery mechanism that opens up the Library's news and news-related digital content through cross-media searching, encourages searching across other news collections, and has a set of tools to encourage innovative thinking and creative re-use, leading to new kinds of research questions.
A model for the presentation of current and historical news media that transmits to users a sense of the 'now' at any time in the past, expressed in the research experience, exhibitions, publications and in public understanding of the Library itself as playing a fundamental role in the understanding of British society.
That 'sense of the now' is key. It represents the urge we all feel to keep up with the news every day, if we want to belong. But it is also what makes yesterday's news so compelling to anyone seeking a connection with the past - from the academic to the family history researcher, from the journalist to the creative artist in search of inspiration. That is what is so exciting about news archives. We turn to a record of the past, and because we have chosen to look at it, it comes back to life - it is news once more.
This post summarises our news content strategy for 2014-2017. We welcome any comments you may have about it.
11 April 2014
Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.
Opening day: So of course the British Library tops the week's news about news with the opening on April 7th of the Newsroom, its new reading room for news. Newspapers, television news, radio news and web news can now all be found in the one physical space - though for newspapers that means microfilm and digital for now, until the print papers become available again in the autumn. It all looks very beautiful - and has a lot more people in it than in this photo taken just before it opened.
Shift 2014: It's all been happening here this week, with Newsworks, the marketing body for UK national newspapers, holding its Shift 2014 conference at the British Library. The live blog of the event includes reactions to star turns such as the editors of The Guardian (Alan Rusbridger), The Independent (Amol Rajan) and The Telegraph (Jason Seiken) and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP. Jason Seiken's speech is here.
Here & Then: And there's more. The British Newspaper Archive, which provides digitised copies of British Library newspapers online, has issued a free iPhone app, Here & Then, with articles, images and adverts from the collection. Oh, and 135,000 pages were added to the BNA site in March.
What will yesterday’s news look like tomorrow?: Article of the week, by a mile. Adrienne LaFrance at Medium looks at the future of news archives, which focus on how they are catalogued and their data mapped for rediscovery in the future. "News organizations need to design archives that better mirror the experience of consuming news in real time, and reflect the idea that the fundamental nature of a story is ongoing".
The Press Freedom Issue: Contributoria, the community funded, collaborative journalism site, published a special issue on press freedom this month. Among the great articles available are Crowdfunding critical thought: How alternative finance builds alternative journalism, Court and council reporting - still a bedrock of local news?, Pirate journalism and The printing press created journalism. The Internet will destroy it. Read and learn.
News is still a man's world: A City University study reveals that male experts still outnumber female experts by a ratio of four to one on flagship radio and TV news programmes.
Has Thompson at the NYT given newspapers a new way to pull in extra cash and readers?: Mark Thompson, former BBC DG and now heading the New York Times, may have had a big idea - New York Times Premier, an added subscription to the online version of the newspaper, with additional content, offers (two free ebooks a month), even special crosswords. The Drum speculates.
Upvoting the news: long, engrossing article by Alex Leavitt for Medium on how news spreads across social media channels, with particular emphasis on Reddit.
The state of Egypt's news media: Al Jazeera's excellent news analysis programme The Listening Post looks at the "sorry state of journalism in Egypt".
A sample 'card' from Vox.com
Three good things about Ezra Klein’s new site Vox, plus three challenges that it faces: The much-hyped Vox.com site, with celebrity news blogger Ezra Klein, launched on April 6th. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom says what he likes (especially the user-friendly 'cards' with background information to stories) then wonders how it will thrive.
Bristol Post editor baffled by fact that front page gay kiss costs thousands of sales: Press Gazette reports on what happened when Bristol Post editor Mike Norton decided to put same-sex marriage on his paper's front page.
'Video-checking' the Clegg and Farage debate: Fact-checking videos - where videos of speeches are analysed to see whether or not the statements made stand up - have been popularised by The Washington Post's Truth Teller. Now the fact-checking organisation Full Fact have done the same for LBC's Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage debate.
Peaches Geldof – was the coverage by newspapers, and TV, over the top?: Roy Greenslade ponders on what would have been proptionate news coverage for the sad death of Peaches Geldof.
More UGC, fewer photographers – and no paywalls: Editors set out visions of future: Hold the Front Page reports on the Society of Editors Regional Conference, where likely changes to the regional newspaper world were set out: user-generated content, smaller offices, cover price rises, no staff photographers, and no paywalls.
One easy, transparent way of making accuracy visible: open sourcing: George Brock argues that the way for news providers to build up trust is through links to source material - footnotes, sort of, though he prefers the term open sourcing.
How some journalists are using anonymous secret-sharing apps: Using apps like Whisper and Secret to turn rumour into news.
We need to talk: Raju Narisetti, senior vice president of strategy at News Corp, poses 26 questions to ask news organisations about the move to digital. Fascinating insight into a business in transition.
04 April 2014
From The Poke via @jameshoggarth
45 local news stories that rocked the world: It started with Patrick Smith at Buzzfeed - now headlines from UK regional newspapers are fast becoming an Internet cult. The Poke collect 45 that show just why we love local newspapers so.
Against beautiful journalism: Thought-provoking article from Felix Salmon at the Reuter blog, who argues against the over-designed nature of some (mostly American) news sites. "Today, when you read a story at the New Republic, or Medium, or any of a thousand other sites, it looks great; every story looks great. Even something as simple as a competition announcement comes with a full-page header and whiz-bang scrollkit graphics. The result is a cognitive disconnect..."
How 3 publishers are innovating with online video: Journalism.co.uk looks at how Huffington Post, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed are taking different approaches to using video, as discussed at the FT Digital Media conference.
Harry Chapman Pincher: Perhaps the best-named journalist ever, certainly one of the most famous living British journalists, Chapman Pincher has turned 100 years old and is still writing. Nick Higham at BBC News profiles the man who became legendary for his espionage scoops.
Safeguarding the “first rough draft of history”: How pleasant to have a history of newspapers (with thank yous to the British Library for its newspaper preservation work from Sylvia Morris at the excellent Shakespeare Blog.
In praise of the almost-journalists: A fine piece by Dan Gillmor at Slate on the distinctive contribution to online news made by advocacy organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Cato Institute.
News Corp boss brands Washington Post journalists 'high priests': Not such good times for journalists of the old school. The Guardian reports how News Corp's Chief Executive Robert Thomson feels that the Washington Post's journalists have failed to embrace the transition to digital.
Apple Adds Talk Radio And News To iTunes Radio Starting With NPR: iTunes Radio gets its first non-music offering with this team up with NPR (National Public Radio), Techcrunch reports.
Journalists increasingly under fire from hackers, Google researchers show: ArsTechnica reports that news organisations are increasingly being targeted by state-sponsored hackers.
The Evolution of Automated Breaking News Stories: Is this the future of news? Technology Review reports on how a Google engineer has developed an algorithm, Wikipedia Live Monitor, that spots breaking news stories on the Web and illustrates them with pictures. Now it is tweeting them.
Debugging the backlash to data journalism: Data journalism has been all the rage, so inevitably there has been a backlash. Alexander Howard at Tow Center provides a good overview of the phenomenon, its strengths and its limitations.
Taming the news beast: The Newsroom blog goes to an International Society for Knowledge Orgaization event on news archives and news metadata, and comes back thoughtful.
London Live – capital's first dedicated TV channel – takes to the air: The Evening Standard-backed TV channel went live on March 31st. Meanwhile, Jim Waterson at BuzzFeed provides an entertaining history of the last time someone tried to launch a TV station called London Live.
The Guardian crowned newspaper of the year at Press Awards for government surveillance reports: Press Gazette names all the winners at the Press Awards. Meanwhile, former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has won the University of Georgia's McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage.
28 March 2014
Journalism matters: Mark Austin and Julie Etchingham of ITN; Christiane Amanpour from CNN, Mark Ferguson from Channel 7 (Australia) ; and Shiulie Ghosh of Al-Jazeera English participate in this 40-second video in support of the #FreeAJStaff campaign, protesting against EWgypt's placing in custody for the past three months of three Al Jazeera journalists for "spreading false news".
The LBC Leaders' Debate: It was fascinating to see the debate on immigration between the LibDems' Nick Clegg and UKIP's Nigel Farage, not for the topic but for how radio station LBC is pushing its brand. Recently launched as a national service, they broadcast the event live on radio, with simulataneous video stream on the BBC News website, followed the moment it ended by the BBC News channel showing the debate with reaction afterwards. LBC's name was prominent, on the lecterns, the walls and in the name of the event itself. Look out for further LBC brand-building in the future, no doubt.
The Times 'moving towards profit' since paywall launch: Guess what, Times Newspapers has moved from a £72 million loss in 2009 to £6 million for trading year ending June 2013.
Will readers pay for journalists?: An interesting twist on the question of whether readers will pay for digital news content - American start-up news site The Beacon is asking its readers to sponsor a journalist for $75,000 for a year to report on the American prison system.
The problem with data journalism: The hot topic of the hour is data journalism. All well and good, says Allison Schrager at Quartz, but the problem with it is that it's not science. "Empirical researchers spend years learning how to apply statistics and countless hours dissecting data. And then even the most experienced, well-intentioned researcher might end up with biased results."
Facts are sacred: Meanwhile, this extract by Simon Rogers from his book Facts are Sacred, lists ten things that you should know about data journalism e.g. "It may be trendy but it's not new".
Before the "explanatory journalism" craze started to catch fire, there was Syria Deeply: The other, related journalism vogue is 'exploratory journalism'. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom tells the story of Lara Setrakian's topic-based site Syria Deeply to show how none of these ideas are new.
Reddit plans to offer embeds for breaking news discussions: Mashable reports that hugely popular 'notice board' site Reddit is planning to offer embeds for breaking news threads, something which could help news organisations tap into instant live blogs of newsworthy events. Could be big.
The week when Mick Jagger found the true cost of fame: Catherine Bennett at The Guardian muses on the papers' treatment of the L'Wren Scott suicide story, calls some of the coverage shameful (while repeating some of this) but says that it shouldn't be used as anrgument for curbs against the press.
London Live: The 24-hour entertainment TV channel for London, backed by The Evening Standard, goes live on March 31st, but its website is already active.
Checking out the NSB: This blog visits the British Library's vast Newspaper Storage Building at Boston Spa, and muses on robots, metadata, and what digital means.
As news reporters get measured by clicks, there are lessons to be learned from unlikely sources: Interesting piece from Poynter on page-view metrics and how the numbers can't determine what's journalistically important.
Trinity Mirror North East unveils plan for digital-first newsroom: The Newcastle and Teesside publisher's new editorial structure, called Newsroom 3.1, will put digital first, print second, evidence of how newspapers are finding their audiences being drawn ever more to their websites. The Drum reports.
Twitter - hot damn!: Not everyone in the news world gets Twitter as yet. Jon Slattery tells them in detail why they should. "Not being on Twitter leaves print journalists as out of touch as the judge who asked: ‘Who are the Beatles?'".
Can Twitter hashtags work in print?: Talking of which, the Media Blog muses interestingly on how newspapers are introducing hashtags into print stories, and whether this has much of an impact at all.