Digital Archiving Practices in Audiovisual Archives: An Exploration of the Use of Media Asset Management Systems in Television Broadcasting Organizations
Research Problem: Over the last decade television audiovisual archives have undergone major changes in response to the introduction of digital media and digital production systems, particularly in relation to television news. While there is significant research into how the use of digital technology affects other user groups within the television broadcasting sector, such as journalists, there is very little that focuses on the work of audiovisual archivists. Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the experiences of television audiovisual archivists who have been involved with the implementation and use of digital media management systems. Questions focused on three main areas: selection and appraisal, cataloguing, and search and retrieval. Results: Interview data provided detailed descriptions of the processes and actions that audiovisual archivists employ in the course of their daily work. Qualitative analysis of the data is used to identify the problems that audiovisual archivists experience and the methods they use to address these problems. It also provides insight into the ways archivists incorporate media management tasks into their routines. Implications: Television archives are very much still in a transition phase which is characterized by the use of multiple systems that enable access to both analogue and digital content. One area that remains problematic for some archivists is the lack of ability to incorporate quality and authority control into descriptive metadata that is created using digital media management systems. Archivists are taking on more media management responsibilities and working closer with production staff in a number of ways.