1968: Fighting media bias

 a history professor at Vanderbilt University, offers this look at the founding of the Vanderbilt Television News Archive:

Fifty years ago, in the middle of a typically hot and humid Nashville summer, a Metropolitan Life insurance manager named Paul Simpson sat with Frank Grisham, the director of the Vanderbilt University Library, in the rare books room of the main library building.

Using three Ampex video recording machines, three television sets and $4,000 of Simpson’s own money, they began what they thought would be a 90-day experiment: From then until election night in November, they would record the ABC, NBC and CBS evening news broadcasts, which usually aired at the same time.

The day Simpson and Grisham started taping, August 5, 1968, was an eventful one. The Republican Convention began, and Ronald Reagan officially announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination, joining with liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller in an attempt to stop Richard Nixon’s hopes of a first ballot nomination….

Such was the modest beginning of what Rutgers University historian David Greenberg has called the “preeminent video resource for scholars of TV news.”

Read the full story on The Conversation.

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