Most Americans get most of their information from television and local news in particular. Yet there have been
few systematic studies of the content and effectiveness of local television news. Although archives of newspapers and national news have provided an invaluable resource for scholars, practitioners and policymakers alike, until recently, there was nothing comparable for local television news, primarily due to difficulties in capturing and archiving broadcast media across the country.

The University of Wisconsin NewsLab is revolutionizing the way journalists and scholars cover and study politics and media coverage by providing systematic capture, story-based analysis, and digital, web-based, searchable archives of local news across the country since 2002.

The UW NewsLab dataset is the most comprehensive and systematic collection of local news ever gathered. Both the 2002 and 2004 archives have been crucial resources for scholars documenting the flow and effect of broadcast messages and for policymakers seeking to improve the quality of news coverage across the nation on a variety of topics from elections to health to foreign affairs.

UW NewsLab employs and trains undergraduate and graduate students, who learn to be
painstakingly detailed in their research methods on a real-time deadline. Not surprisingly,
alumni from UW NewsLab are starting careers in the national political and media and
research communities.

Copyright © 2006 UW NewsLab, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Phone: 608.262.4201