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The Leibner Cooper Grant for Creative Productions on the History of Media has been awarded to James E. Machado for his project, WGAL Digital Archive Documentary Project.

James Machado is an Assistant Professor in the Communication and Theatre Department at Millersville University in Millersville, PA. In addition to teaching, Machado has been an editor and producer of long-form television for the last 15 years. He has an MFA in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York.

Machado also has experience working in hard news at the network level, and a working knowledge of video technology history.

Machado’s project is a documentary that chronicles the preservation of 30 years (1949-1979) worth of 16mm news footage from Lancaster, PA NBC affiliate station, WGAL-TV. The scope of the documentary is to explore the history of news gathering in the era of chemical filmmaking and the evolution of the news coverage in the Susquehanna Valley. These materials are one of the most complete records of early television broadcasts in the nation and will be invaluable to researchers in the history of mid-century broadcast journalism and American life. Millersville has taken steps to preserve the media in its original form, but irreversible degradation of the film continues. The WGAL Digital Archive, a priority for the university administration, focuses on digitizing and preserving this unique, locally created film, and teaching students to create, digitize, and preserve 16 mm film.

The Leibner Cooper Grant for Creative Productions on the History of Media is made possible thanks to an endowment from Leibner Cooper Family Foundation. Annually, a $2,500 grant will be awarded to a faculty member who is producing a documentary, news story, multimedia project or sports production focused on historical issues, figures and/or events related to media.