Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Marketing, Downtown Main Library
From 1997 to 2017, Cincinnatians tuning in to Local 12 WKRC-TV each week saw the familiar face of local historian and seasoned host Dan Hurley on the set of “Local 12 Newsmakers.” Speaking with a panel of guests discussing important issues and news happening in the community, Hurley informed citizens and gave a platform for new ideas to be shared in a space built for thoughtful dialogue, not ten second soundbites.
Thanks to a generous grant from The Murray & Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation as well as a Metadata Mini-Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio, full, unedited episodes of “Local 12 Newsmakers” from 1997 through 2017 have been digitized and made available to customers on the Library’s YouTube channel, opens a new window. This new initiative, called Cincinnati Stories: Increasing Civic Awareness, is an engaging and informative virtual experience customers can use to become better informed of the local civic landscape.
“Local 12 Newsmakers” is considered one of the best video representations of local news and events as seen, understood, and experienced by the newsmakers themselves. Through his weekly, long form interviews, Dan Hurley had a unique way of getting at the heart of an issue.
"For 20 years Newmakers featured regional leaders: mayors, elected officials, judges, police chiefs, corporate and not-for-profit CEOs,” Hurley says, “But we also invited ordinary people, neighborhood activists, homeless people, immigrants, returning citizens and others.”
"One of the most important services of Newsmakers was to invite candidates for public office to sit together during election cycles and talk about their approaches in an informal forum."
Digitizing Decades of History
In order to create "Cincinnati Stories: Increasing Civic Awareness" the Library’s Genealogy & Local History team worked with a video conversion vendor to digitize a collection of 399 videotapes consisting of unedited interviews of show participants from 1997 through 2017.
With the entire collection indexed and digitized, it can be viewed in CHPL's Digital Library, opens a new window and the Library’s YouTube channel, opens a new window for users today and in perpetuity.
Funding from these two grants supported the digitization of the videotapes and the creation of a new online exhibit experience where customers can explore a series of curated online exhibits of primary source materials, “Local 12 Newsmakers” episodes and segments, as well as trusted information from third-party organizations that provide various perspectives and information about the subjects.
The three exhibits are now available as part of Cincinnati Stories: Increasing Civic Awareness:
- “Community Relations, Consent Decrees and Public Outcry 2001-Today.”, opens a new window
- “Red to Purple to Blue? Demographic shifts, voter engagement, census tracts and redistricting.”, opens a new window
- “Strong Mayor, Strong Council, or Strong Administrator – what is charter reform and who are we today?”, opens a new window
Explore Cincinnati Stories: Increasing Civic Awareness including over 600 full, unedited episodes of “Local 12 Newsmakers”, opens a new window and the curated online exhibits, opens a new window.