The Internet Archive, home to the Wayback Machine, will today begin offering a TV news search service. The Archive has amassed over 350,000 news programs from 20 different channels covering the last three years. Around 1,000 different series have been catalogued from networks including CNN and Fox News, with programs including 60 Minutes and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Programs are added 24 hours after they’re first aired, with older programs also being added over time.

Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, believes the collection isn’t just a tool for researchers, saying that it could help the "American voter to better be able to examine candidates and issues." Speaking to The New York Times, Kahle detailed how the news archive will be freely available to all, with search queries being matched against the closed captions that accompany the programs when they’re first broadcast. Short 30 second clips that match the search can be viewed on the Archive's website for free, while entire programs can be loaned for $50 via DVD for 30 days.

The project should also be covered against any copyright concerns: the use of short clips means the Archive shouldn't require a license for content, and Section 108 of the Copyright Act permits libraries and archives to loan a limited number of DVDs for full news broadcasts.