Media students explore 60 years' worth of TV footage in New York

Media and Communications students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) were given access to a treasure trove of materials as they visited the Paley Center for Media in New York on the first day of their #DMUglobal itinerary.

A dozen lucky students were given a presentation and tour of the facility, which is located in the heart of Manhattan, before being allowed to search the archives and look at radio and television programmes dating back over 60 years.

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The Paley Center for Media houses digital archives with 150,000 pieces of video footage from as early as the 1940s and radio materials from as far back as the 1920s.

Trip lead Dr Alastair Gordon explained what a privilege it was to be given the chance to use a facility that has also been utilised by famous faces including actors Francis Ford Coppola, Hank Azaria and Tom Selleck.

He said: “We were here to show students an international way that archives are used in media and communication research. We’re interested in students being able to navigate their way through international databases to find very specific and general information.

“It was such a special opportunity for them, they are all buzzing and finding their favourite TV show or things that they may not have seen before.”

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Third year Journalism student Daniel Siggins believes the visit will help with his course when he returns to Leicester, particularly as he was able to access materials that can be used in his dissertation, which is focused on media coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster.

He said: “We looked at media coverage of all different sorts of things and how media coverage in America was different to the UK.

“Here there is archive footage from all different eras and covering lots of different topics that you couldn’t access anywhere else. There’s stuff here that I could find for my course that I just simply wouldn’t be able to find if I was looking on the internet.”

Earlier in the day the same group of students visited the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, where they explored various ways that media can be presented.

Posted on Saturday 6th January 2018

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