Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS): Daily Reports

Covering the period September 4, 1941 through March 29, 1974, this digital collection is the first of three modules that form Readex’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). The FBIS is a branch of the United States government that has operated variously under the Federal Communications Commission, the War Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Its purpose is to produce “open source intelligence” reports for the U.S. government. The agency monitors radio broadcasts, newspapers, and other publicly available news sources from around the world, and then transcribes and translates this news so that it may be used to inform American foreign policy. Sometimes news is translated in its entirety; sometimes it is summarized. In addition to news, the FBIS staff translate speeches, interviews, and other types of information sources. Put simply, the FBIS reports tell us how the foreign media represented the news of the world, and since the reports have all been translated into English, students can use them to obtain diverse, global perspectives on historical research topics.

In addition to keyword searching, the collection also supports browsing by major historical events.

Here, for example, is an excerpt from a contemporary Chinese perspective on the failed Tibetan uprising of 1959:


This first module is divided into six series:

  1. Asia and the Pacific: April 14, 1967 through March 29, 1974
  2. Eastern Europe: April 14, 1967 through March 29, 1974
  3. Latin America and Western Europe: February 16, 1970 through March 29, 1974
  4. Middle East and Africa: May 28, 1970 through March 29, 1974
  5. People’s Republic of China: March 7, 1973 through March 29, 1974
  6. Soviet Union: March 8, 1968 through March 29, 1974

The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library has long wanted to acquire FBIS, and we are thrilled that now we can make it available to our our students for the first time.

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