Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists and community groups. Media Burn is a project of the Fund for Innovative TV, which has been producing challenging documentary video and television since 1990.
    Our mission is to preserve audiovisual records of history and culture and to engage audiences with their creative reuse.
    The national significance of the collection of more than 7,000 videos has been recognized with grants from the National Archives, the “Save America’s Treasures” program of the NEH, the NEA, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Your support is a critical part of our success. Please donate today.
    The boxes of tapes in your basement or closet may be deteriorating much faster than you think. You will have no better chance of transferring them successfully and for a reasonable cost than today. Media Burn is a boutique footage transfer service that provides highly personalized attention to your project.

Latest Blog Posts

  • “Adverse environments are a crucible to test your willpower.”–Oscar Lopez Rivera

    “Adverse environments are a crucible to test your willpower.”–Oscar Lopez Rivera

    Yesterday, President Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist linked to the radical group F.A.L.N. In the 1970s and ’80s the F.A.L.N. plotted bombings in Chicago and New York with the goal of securing Puerto Rican independence. In 1981, López Rivera was sentenced to 55 years in prison after being convicted of several charges, including a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments. In 1988, he received an additional 15-year sentence after … Continue reading

  • “Where do we go from here?”

    “Where do we go from here?”

    Monday is a celebration of the life and work of beloved civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His many and great accomplishments in the struggle for equality during the ’50s and ’60s live on in his inspirational words, which continue to guide the practices of nonviolent activism today. His assassination in 1968 was a terrible shock felt around the world and to all who fought for civil and human rights. In this video from the archive, Studs Terkel … Continue reading


New Videos

  • The Polaroid Wall: A Look Back at IPA, The Editing House

    The Polaroid Wall: A Look Back at IPA, The Editing House

    IPA was founded in 1982 and for the next 18 years served as a creative home for the Chicago area video community. On the wall in its kitchen was a collection of 2,620 Polaroid photos taken over the years of production shoots, late night editing sessions, new equipment installations – remember your excitement over 8” floppy disks? –and its legendary parties. Now The Polaroid Wall is available as an app for iPhones and iPads you can swipe, zoom or search … Continue reading

  • This isn’t just a “job” to us

    This isn’t just a “job” to us

              Dear friend, Today our office is quiet–most people in the building have already left town for the holidays. Nevertheless, we’re here because we know our work is vitally important, and no one else is doing it. We don’t make a big fuss about ourselves, but we are making a major impact. This small and unassuming group of people is doing a tremendous amount of work for an astonishingly small amount of money. We have served … Continue reading

  • “Militarism has become the very fabric of our culture”–Blase Bonpane”

    “Militarism has become the very fabric of our culture”–Blase Bonpane”

    An outspoken critic of the American military interventions for decades, Blase Bonpane is a former Maryknoll priest who has been director of the Office of the Americas since 1983. In this archival video from 1991, Bonpane made the case for the U.S. as a militaristic society. It was originally shown on THE 90’s series on PBS and shot by Nancy Cain and Jody Procter. At 87, Bonpane is still fighting for peace through his work writing books and on KPFK … Continue reading

  • Our stories matter now more than ever

    Our stories matter now more than ever

    Dear friend, Like many of you, we at Media Burn have been reeling from the results of the election. On the morning of November 9, after very little sleep and with a growing sense of anxiety, I boarded a plane to Pittsburgh for the annual Association of Moving Image Archivists conference. My colleagues and I began as walking zombies, in utter disbelief that after this earth-shattering election we were about to spend four days discussing archival methodologies. Out of all … Continue reading

  • Hard Hitting Pioneer Of “No Nonsense” Journalism Gwen Ifill Dies At The Age Of 61

    Hard Hitting Pioneer Of “No Nonsense” Journalism Gwen Ifill Dies At The Age Of 61

    Gwen Ifill was the daughter of Caribbean immigrants and grew up during the tumultuous 1960s. Recollecting on that charged socio-political atmosphere she said, “I was very conscious of the world being this very crazed place that demanded explanation,” in a 2011 interview with the Archive of American Television.  She went on to become a member of the very exclusive club of mainstream journalism. Ifill worked at the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC and PBS. Beginning in 2013, she was … Continue reading

  • Let’s Have Lunch

    Let’s Have Lunch

    A sketch comedy program. Continue reading

  • Ron Rivera & Adam

    Ron Rivera & Adam

    PSA for the Aplastic Anemia Foundation, featuring Bears linebacker Ron Rivera and a young boy named Adam. Continue reading

  • Money Man Monument: “A permanent tribute to the American way”

    Money Man Monument: “A permanent tribute to the American way”

    We thought it might be an appropriate day to revisit “Money Man Monument,” an over-the-top satirical video conceived by artist Doug Michels (1943-2003). Michels proposed the installation of a 23-foot-tall Money Man on the National Mall alongside memorials to American icons like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, calling it “a permanent tribute to green power and the American way.” The performer is our friend Tony Judge. Camera by long-time Media Burn collaborator, producer/director Joe Angio.