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History: America: News Translation Services

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)

First begun in 1941, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was established to monitor, record, transcribe, and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories during World War II that were of potential interest to U.S. government officials. These make up the Daily Reports, which are divided into two chronological segments: 1941-1974 and 1974-1996. Over time the scope of the content expanded to include information from thousands of foreign media sources, including political speeches, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, and periodicals. In 2005, FBIS was absorbed by the Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center.

The FBIS Readex database includes the following:
- Daily Reports published from September 4, 1941 through March 29, 1974.
- Daily Reports published from April 1974 through September 1996, which are subdivided into regions.
- Daily Report Annexes, 1974-1996, that were created by the U.S. intelligence community to benefit analysts and policy makers. The Annexes are associated with the FBIS regional publication series titles.

You can search the full text of the reports or search by title, source, language, or FBIS ID. Subject searching is not an option in this database, but the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Electronic Index provides additional indexing of the Daily Reports published from 1975-1996.

In 1996, FBIS became available online through the World News Connection database, maintained by NTIS. As of 2014, the Open Source Center stopped sending these translations to NTIS and this database was discontinued.

The Library has holdings of the reports from 1996-2004 (some dates missing) on CD-ROM, located at NRLF. These can be located in UC Library Search under the title FBIS publications. In addition to the Daily Reports, the CD-ROMs include JPRS reports, FBIS analysis, FBIS trends, Foreign media bulletin, Foreign media notes, Foreign press survey, S&T perspectives, and other FBIS products.

Many Daily Reports have been digitized and are accessible through HathiTrust, though the holdings are scattered.

BBC Monitoring

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operates a similar service and BBC Monitoring is available through Proquest International Newsstand from 1998-present and can be searched by locating the BBC Monitoring titles in the Publications list or by limiting your search by adding the title in an advanced search.

BBC Monitoring: International Reports is also available via Nexis Uni from 1979-present. 

Under Guided Search, choose "A Publication" and begin typing BBC Monitoring in the "Find publication" box. Select the resource when the full title appears. The search will retrieve over 10,000 documents with the most recent listed first. Look at the results for ideas of how to narrow the search, such as adding "Highlights from Croatian press."