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

TV Kitchen
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Published in
3 min readSep 23, 2020

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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.

Know someone who would be interested in TV Kitchen? Please share this update with them! Sign up here.

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