Extra! Extra! New TV Kitchen recipe enables closed caption extractions!

TV Kitchen
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Published in
3 min readSep 23, 2020


Welcome to this update from TV Kitchen, an open source project that gives you tools to take TV streams and turn them into structured data to power media analysis, fact-checks, investigative research, and more.

First open source recipe published: closed caption extractions

TV Kitchen is proud to announce the publication of the very first open source recipes for the TV Kitchen: extracting closed captions from (1) video files and (2) http video streams.

Below is a photo of TV Kitchen cook and chief Dan Schultz, using a version of this recipe and a HD HomeRun plus antenna to pull out captions from his local NBC affiliate, WCAU-TV.

This recipe uses two brand new TV Kitchen appliances: a video ingestion appliance, and a closed captioning extraction appliance. You can run your own copy in just a few minutes!

Here are a few ideas for what you can do with closed captions from local TV:

  • Real-time analysis of a widely broadcast press conference in your area (Think a governor’s address, or Covid-19 updates by public health officials).
  • Compare and contrast local TV news coverage on key issues over a specific time period.
  • Capture local coverage of presidential debates and compare to national coverage.

If you are heading to the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) virtual conference, Schultz will be live-demoing TV Kitchen along with colleague Nancy Watzman at the Knight Foundation virtual demo booth on Wednesday, September 23, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern E.T.

Or: join us Thursday at 12 pm ET for the next OpenNews community call. Source community calls are a community check-in every other Thursday at 12 pm ET for anyone in or near the journalism-code world who wants to announce new projects, events, grants, and job openings, and solicit contributors. Details are in this link.

TV Kitchen website launched!

Visit our spiffy new website: https://tv.kitchen/! There you’ll find information about TV Kitchen and how it works, as well as different ways to join our community and partner with us.

We are looking for:

  • Developers to contribute to our growing code base and recipe list;
  • Community members who want to share TV metadata;
  • Anybody with creative ideas for media analysis.

Contact us at tvkitchen@biffud.com. We promise that humans, not robots, will respond.

TV Kitchen is a project of Bad Idea Factory.

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