The NewsLab Eurasia project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to create a unique digital archive of television news from Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Established with funding from the University of Wisconsin-Madison International Institute, the Department of Political Science, the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) at the UW-Madison, and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) at the University of Texas at Austin, NewsLab Eurasia aims to be a valuable resource for scholars in the social sciences, as well as teachers and students of world languages.
Previous attempts to monitor international news for research purposes, although valuable, generally focused on the period just prior to national elections and left no broadcast archive for future scholars. The University of Wisconsin NewsLab Eurasia offers a different approach, utilizing technology originally developed at the University of Wisconsin NewsLab, which monitors local news broadcasts in the U.S. NewsLab Eurasia builds on the success of UW NewsLab in order to create a digitized archive of television news from Eurasia and Central and Eastern Europe.
NewsLab Eurasia also provides a unique tool for language instruction. Students can improve their listening comprehension skills by watching authentic news broadcasts. They have the option of reviewing a news story several times, first listening just for the main idea of the story and then watching for different details through repeated viewings. With stories categorized by subject matter, language teachers with access to the Internet can easily identify and play news segments appropriate for classroom use.