Friday, July 23, 2010

Archiving 2010

As the SABC Radio Archives Sport Archivist in Johannesburg I have the responsibility to look after all English and Afrikaans radio sport programming after the fact.

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup happening and Radio 2000SAFM and RSG broadcasting all the matches live, as it happened, it brought a few challenges.

1. Recordings of all the matches had to be made;
2. it had to be available almost immediately after each match and so,
3. real time recordings were not an option.

For the recordings we used a program called Netlog, which log the entire broadcast of a Radio Service for 24 hours. To isolate each soccer match we used a scheduling function. So, immediately after a match the audio, according to a predetermined schedule, was downloaded onto a hard drive. All journalists and producers who needed it, was given 'read only' access to these audio files through mapping to their PC's to a 'shared folder' on the SABC U drive. Strict access control applied.

This meant that any sport journalist, commentator or producer could have access to the entire match within minutes of the final whistle.

All audio files were saved with clear and accessible file names to avoid any confusion.

Most of the matches ended 'after' normal working hours and having an archivist on duty 24-7 was not an option. Using the above approach all commentary was available on-line almost without any human intervention at the time of the match.

Up to this time a match was just available on a file name. Proper metadata still needed to be added to ensure maximum accessibility.

This happened first thing every morning. Each match was catalogued in full onto NDM 'Natural Document Management,' the Radio Archives Database.

A duplicate double CD (1st and 2nd half) copy of each match was also burned, both in English and Afrikaans.

Using this method all matches, in two languages, was available on the Radio Archives database, on CD and on a shared drive shortly after the end of each broadcast.

This assisted largely with the editing of highlights and the production of special programming during and shortly after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

No backlog from the World Cup exists and the focus immediately could be shifted onto the other national and international sports in and around South Africa and its sports teams and individuals e.g. the Springbok rugby team playing in the 2010 Vodacom Tri-Nations and Louis Oosthuizen winning the 2010 British Open Golf Tournament at St. Andrews.

A few interesting figures:

In total 113 broadcasts was catalogued with an average of 1:45:00 per match.

- Johann Greyling, Archivist: Sport, SABC Radio Archives


  1. Great story Johann - I'm sure we shall be talking about the world cup experience long into the future!

  2. Hi always nice to hear such possitive stories. As all the informaton comes rolling in it becomes more and more apparent of what an effort was put in....keep it up

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