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.

New Videos

  • Musical Memories from Chicago 1963 to 2000

    Musical Memories from Chicago 1963 to 2000

    A collection of excerpts from films by Tom Palazzolo focuing on music in Chicago, from street performers on Maxwell St to folk and rock bands at neighborhood festivals. Continue reading

  • “It’s a con game.” —Bill Veeck on Spring Training

    “It’s a con game.” —Bill Veeck on Spring Training

    The windchill is in the 20s in Chicago, but in Arizona (and Florida) baseball spring training is about to begin. Ostensibly, spring training is a time for the players to get back into shape, but its significance for baseball fans goes far beyond that. Bill Veeck, legendary baseball owner for 60 years, gave his personal view of spring training in 1984 on an episode of Time Out, a weekly sports program hosted by a number of Chicago-area journalists and sportscasters. … Continue reading

  • Japanese-American Internment

    Japanese-American Internment

    This Friday, February 19th, is the 74th anniversary of the signing and issuing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which paved the way for Japanese internment during World War II. The resulting internment camps remain a dark stain on our nation’s history. In 1990, videomaker Nancy Cain spoke with Frank Emi for THE 90’s about his experiences in the camps, as well as his feelings about Ronald Reagan’s official apology over 40 years later. In addition to … Continue reading

  • Behind the Curtain of the Presidential Debates

    Behind the Curtain of the Presidential Debates

    Tonight Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will meet up in Milwaukee for yet another debate. The candidates undoubtedly have spent quite a bit of time honing their talking points and anticipating the questions they’ll face. As you’ll see in this video below, the preparation actually goes much further than just the rhetoric–candidates are prepared for the color palette of the room, the precise number of inches between their podium and their opponents’, and much more. The video takes place in … Continue reading

  • 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

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

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

    Mediaburn.org 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 mediaburn.org 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