Recent Media Burn Archive blogs

  • The Super Bowl is about more than just the football

    The Super Bowl is about more than just the football

    Our phone number has changed! Please update your address books with our new number: (312) 964-5020 This Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch Super Bowl 50. In fact, the Super Bowls consistently rank among the most watched television broadcasts in history, with last year’s Super Bowl XLIX breaking records with an estimated total of 168 million viewers in the U.S. It’s not surprising, then, that most advertisers clamor for a chance to have their ads played during … Continue reading

  • The blizzard that buried Bilandic

    The blizzard that buried Bilandic

    While the East Coast finishes digging its way out of the massive snowstorm that hit this weekend, let’s take a look back at one of the most infamous blizzards in Chicago history, which buried the city—and Mayor Bilandic’s hopes for re-election—in 1979. With 21 inches of snowfall over a two day period, it was the second largest snowstorm in Chicago in history at the time. Today, the storm is best-known for being poorly handled by then-Mayor Michael Bilandic, who failed … Continue reading


newest videos

  • Most watched of Media Burn Jan 2016 / Dec 2015 / Nov 2015

    Most watched of Media Burn Jan 2016 / Dec 2015 / Nov 2015 has been getting quite a lot of traffic in the last few months. We have been quite surprised to find that the top videos are continually changing, and that they’re a pretty diverse mix of things! It’s a real indicator of the depth of our archive and the variety of ways in which our content continues to be relevant to audiences. January 2016 top five videos on Spin by Brian Singer (1995). A landmark documentary 100% composed of … Continue reading

  • In Tribute to Andrew Jones, Roving Correspondent for THE 90’s

    In Tribute to Andrew Jones, Roving Correspondent for THE 90’s

    In memory of Andrew Jones, who died five years ago, we would like to share with you this tribute from Tom Weinberg, as well as a piece Andrew shot about the first day when blacks were allowed to vote in South Africa. In fact, Andrew’s interest into the politics of South Africa were deep, ranging from his 1986 proposal for Boston’s African-American communities to form their own city named “Mandela,” to his emigration to South Africa in 1995, where he … Continue reading

  • Remembering the life and death of Dr. King

    Remembering the life and death of Dr. King

    Today is the birthday 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 shocking blow to all those who fought and continue to fight for civil rights in this country and abroad. In this video from the archive, Studs Terkel talks with … Continue reading

  • Bringing lost videos back to life

    Bringing lost videos back to life

    One of the most rewarding parts of my work is helping producers recover tapes they haven’t seen in decades. 1/2″ reel-to-reel videotape was the first portable videotape format that ever existed, and its development allowed for an explosion of independent expression and experimentation by artists and activists throughout the late ’60s and 1970s. However, these tapes are now well past the end of their lifespan and there is no way for producers to play them or transfer them. Working 1/2″ … Continue reading

  • Studs’ Place: Shakespeare

    Studs’ Place: Shakespeare

    “Shakespeare,” an episode of “Studs’ Place,” revolves around an old theatre actor named Mr. Lord who is planning to have dinner with an ex-pupil at the restaurant. The ex-pupil, David Frome, is now a famous movie actor, and is now too important to see his old mentor. Meanwhile Nancy, a high school student with dreams of becoming an actress, hopes to meet Frome, but is disheartened by his disregard for others, and ends up connecting with Lord instead. Also features musical performances by Chet and Win. Continue reading

  • Doug Atkins, 1930-2015

    Doug Atkins, 1930-2015

    Doug Atkins died last Wednesday at age 85. He played in the NFL for 17 years, including with the 1963 championship Chicago Bears. He was the most feared defender in the league, one of the biggest (6’8″ and 275 pounds), and probably the strongest defensive player in the league. He was inducted into Football Hall of Fame in 1992. We interviewed him at his home in Tennessee 1985.

  • Why you love Media Burn

    Why you love Media Burn

    Dear friends: This is your last chance in 2015 to support our work to preserve and distribute innovative and unique videos that illuminate our understanding of the world. We need $3,500 today to reach our year-end goal… so do it now. It takes two minutes. Have a happy new year, and thanks, as always. Quotes about Media Burn in 2015: Press Highlights: “…one of Chicago’s least noted yet most valuable archives.” –Newcity, November, 2015, Chicago’s 50 screen gems. “a vast … Continue reading

  • Haskell Wexler was always in his own category

    Haskell Wexler was always in his own category

    By Tom Weinberg In Hollywood, he was the go-to cameraman for the most accomplished directors and most influential movies for decades. He has an incredible 80 credits as cinematographer over 63 years, on features, commercials, and his love—documentaries. Haskell shot (and wrote and directed) many of the most politically and socially relevant progressive documentaries in history. He was justifiably proud of his two Oscars and countless other awards, but he was so much more than “a legendary cameraman.” Haskell was … Continue reading