About the Counts

We recorded CNN's WorldView from December 31, 1997 through July 31, 1999. Beginning in August of 1999 WorldView was replaced by news broadcasts with a primary focus on the presidential election. After the election the same programs followed the extended vote counting. January 1 of 2000 WorldView was no more. It had ended after July without announcing its demise. We began recording BBC's World News in January of 2000 and will continue to record it through 2003.

The news broadcasts were recorded on videotape and simultaneously were digitized as mpeg1 files. Preparation for analysis involves extracting the text of the broadcast, indexing it for the beginning and end of stories, and placing the index and text into a database for searching and counting. The software to do the indexing and searching was not available until the end of 2001. All of the 2002 and 2003 BBC World News broadasts were indexed as they were broadcast. In addition, the WorldView broadcasts for 1998, 1999 and 2000 have been indexed and placed in the database. Almost none of the 2001 broadcasts have been indexed. Hence, they do not figure in the counts for this presentation. The number of stories included in the counts are:

# Broadcasts
1998 237
1999 234
2000 119
2001 26
2002 194
2003* 42
Total 852

* The count for 2003 is through February.

CNN's World View included closed caption text. While the spelling is not perfect it is an accurate account of what was said in the broadcast. BBC's World News does not include closed caption text. We used a speech to text program to extract the text of the broadcast. The version we have used up to this point is inadequate. It will locate names of places and people accurately, but it does not produce a readable text. Since the counts that are relevant to this presentation are counts of country names it provides a reasonably accurate counting of countries that are mentioned in the news broadcasts. Other types of analysis will require a new speech to text program.