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Philly Political Media Watch Project

This is part of the larger TV News Archive. The project explored the public interest values of a digital library of 2014 political TV advertising, centered in the Philadelphia metro region.


Media & Money


The Internet Archive is presenting searchable online libraries of the Philadelphia-region’s political advertising, television news, and a wide range of related web and social media content leading up to the 2014 election. We partnered with the Sunlight Foundation, Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy (a non-partisan government watchdog) and University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service for a pilot project to assist those studying how local media in the region are meeting the information needs of their communities and assessing the influence of political spending on the region's media ecosystem.

Trained volunteers and others searched through archived television news content to initially identify more than 8,000 campaign commercials and tagged them with information on who paid for them. Each identified political ad in the online library, that occurred within news programming, includes sponsorship identification that links through to the Sunlight Foundation's "Political Ad Sleuth" crowd-sourced presentations of who paid how much to the TV stations for airing the ads.

Post-hoc analysis, using digital content “fingerprinting” algorithms identified hundreds of political ads our human evaluators missed, raising the total to 8,594 within news programs. Plus, the algorithms were able to analyze all the entertainment programs during the 65-day monitoring period, finding 5,081 political ads in them. Metadata regarding the newly found ads, and an exploratory visualization tool, will be available soon.

University of Delaware researchers analyzed the content of TV news broadcasts to assess their topics and relationships with issues raised in accompanying political ads. They studied a representative sampling of newscasts on the major Philadelphia commercial television stations and found the time devoted to political ads outnumbered the time devoted to substantive political stories 45 to 1.

Project Resources

 

 

Why?

These unique collections offer unprecedented opportunities to explore the influence of powerful actors in the political process, investigate representation of important community issues within a media ecosystem and learn more about financial sources of political influence during the run-up to 2014’s November 4 elections.

Although ambitious in its scope this year, the Project is also a pilot experiment to inform how its technologies and organizational collaborations can be improved and cost-effectively scaled across the U.S. in coming years.

Project Advisors

  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication; and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Travis N. Ridout, the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the school of Politics, Philosophy and Public; and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
  • David Westin, former president, ABC News

DESCRIPTION
This is part of the larger TV News Archive. The project explored the public interest values of a digital library of 2014 political TV advertising, centered in the Philadelphia metro region.


Media & Money


The Internet Archive is presenting searchable online libraries of the Philadelphia-region’s political advertising, television news, and a wide range of related web and social media content leading up to the 2014 election. We partnered with the Sunlight Foundation, Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy (a non-partisan government watchdog) and University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service for a pilot project to assist those studying how local media in the region are meeting the information needs of their communities and assessing the influence of political spending on the region's media ecosystem.

Trained volunteers and others searched through archived television news content to initially identify more than 8,000 campaign commercials and tagged them with information on who paid for them. Each identified political ad in the online library, that occurred within news programming, includes sponsorship identification that links through to the Sunlight Foundation's "Political Ad Sleuth" crowd-sourced presentations of who paid how much to the TV stations for airing the ads.

Post-hoc analysis, using digital content “fingerprinting” algorithms identified hundreds of political ads our human evaluators missed, raising the total to 8,594 within news programs. Plus, the algorithms were able to analyze all the entertainment programs during the 65-day monitoring period, finding 5,081 political ads in them. Metadata regarding the newly found ads, and an exploratory visualization tool, will be available soon.

University of Delaware researchers analyzed the content of TV news broadcasts to assess their topics and relationships with issues raised in accompanying political ads. They studied a representative sampling of newscasts on the major Philadelphia commercial television stations and found the time devoted to political ads outnumbered the time devoted to substantive political stories 45 to 1.

Project Resources

 

 

Why?

These unique collections offer unprecedented opportunities to explore the influence of powerful actors in the political process, investigate representation of important community issues within a media ecosystem and learn more about financial sources of political influence during the run-up to 2014’s November 4 elections.

Although ambitious in its scope this year, the Project is also a pilot experiment to inform how its technologies and organizational collaborations can be improved and cost-effectively scaled across the U.S. in coming years.

Project Advisors

  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication; and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Travis N. Ridout, the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the school of Politics, Philosophy and Public; and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
  • David Westin, former president, ABC News


ACTIVITY

Created on
September 8
2014
tracey pooh
Archivist
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