TV What?

TV Kitchen is an open source tool to get data out of local TV streams–starting with captions, and in the future political ads, chyrons, talking points, and more. Participants will be able to develop, share, and use free software tools to extract data from TV and share metadata safely with a wider community. The more people who use TV Kitchen, the more plentiful and rich our information and collaborations.

Why TV Kitchen?

Local television news still attracts some 20 million nightly viewers, and remains the most trusted source for news. Major media conglomerates, including Sinclair, Tegna, and Nexstar, have been snapping up these local stations, and now control nearly 40 percent. And despite the rise in social media advertising, six publicly held local TV station companies collected $1.2 billion for political advertising during the 2018 elections. But for researchers and journalists, local TV remains opaque. If you want to analyze local coverage of recent protests for racial justice, the pandemic, or the election, you need to pay an expensive private firm or ignore this major source of information.

How we got here

In 2016, the TV Kitchen team worked with the Internet Archive on the Political TV Ad Archive, tracking political ads on TV and turning them into data. This fueled all kinds of creative uses, including an online video game, a visual on how CNN, Fox, and MSNBC covered presidential debates, and fact-checks of political ads. TV Kitchen takes this same functionality and invites the public to collaborate.


TV Kitchen is a project of the Bad Idea Factory, a collective of chaotic creatives using technology to make people thinking face emoji. BIF has only existed for a few years, but our members have been developing software for journalists for the better part of a collective century.

Dan Schultz


Dan is a technologist and one of several Corporate Overlords of Bad Idea Factory. TV Kitchen is directly inspired by his time working with the Internet Archive’s TV News Team, as well as the good people in the OpenNews community.

Nancy Watzman


Nancy Watzman is director of Lynx LLC, based in Denver, Colorado. She is a strategist specializing in developing and managing collaborations and partnerships to support journalists, technologists, and researchers in countering online dis- and mis-information, conducting investigations, and increasing newsroom sustainability. Her current clients include First Draft News and Democracy Fund.

Chris Zubak-Skees


Chris coaches a small team of computational journalists who analyze data, write code and do original design as the data editor at an investigative nonprofit. His work there has won Loeb, Meyer and Society for News Design awards. He was formerly a reporting fellow at the Sunlight Foundation.

Funding sources

Some information about our fantastic funders

Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

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