Texts as Data III: Digital TV Archives
The method for data collection on media policy, which we describe in this chapter, is digital television historiography using digital tools for writing about television’s past. For doing digital television historiography, internal and external source criticism need to go hand in hand. Internal source criticism is an in-depth ‘textual’ analysis of the source as such, while external source criticism is the contextualization of the source. External source criticism can be based on the five W-questions: who, what, where, when, why. Doing digital television history involves addressing these five questions on two levels: on the level of the document/the source and on the level of the tool itself. Criticism on the level of the tool can be called ‘digital tool criticism’. In addition to an answer to the five W’s, digital tool criticism also requires the important additional question ‘How’: how does the tool work? To illustrate the method, we conduct data collection using digital television archives with the help of two very distinct examples: one starting from the establishment of Eurovision as a European media policy action; the other one exploring the possibilities of research on subtitling policy. The chapter shows that every act of historiography implies questioning the archive and making decisions and selections and to make these explicit. It turns out how much on this theme a combination of digital and analogue research remains the basis, given the status quo of archiving policy. As a result, data collection in digital television archives requires knowledge of archiving policy.
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