NBC News Creates Digital Archive for Classrooms

NBC News Archive will Compete with Discovery, History Channel Initiatives

NBC News is busy digitizing millions of hours of footage for its newly created curriculum-based education initiative that gives K-12 teachers access to the NBC News vault.

The multimedia content includes sections on U.S. history and government, but also less traditional subjects including women’s studies and forensic science. The searchable digital archive is carefully edited to be appropriate for students.

The initiative -- through a partnership with HotChalk, an online resource for teachers -- represents a $15 million outlay for NBC Universal, said Adam Jones, chief financial officer of NBC News, adding that he expects it to take two to three years for the company to realize a return on that investment.

NBC News will also be competing with established education initiatives at Discovery Communications and A&E Television Networks’ The History Channel. What distinguishes the NBC News initiative, Jones said, is that it’s adapted to core curriculums in all 50 states, so that it presents a streamlined resource for teachers.

Of course, for NBC News, the investment also represents a chance to connect with young viewers.

“We’re all trying to find ways to reach younger viewers,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. The initiative speaks to the core competency of what NBC News has to offer. I think it would be a missed opportunity not to draw on those archives and let it come alive.”