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International Relations

This guide covers sources of information on international relations, diplomacy, security, and U.S. foreign policy.

World News & Open Source Intelligence

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency from 1941-2004. Since the 1940s, FBIS  monitored, translated, and republished selected foreign radio and television broadcasts, newspaper articles, government news agency releases, and political speeches. FBIS primary users - US government officials - determined which stories are included, so political, military, economic, and environmental topics are the major emphases. The translations were published as quickly as possible--usually within a few days of original publication--in a series of daily reports. In 2004, FBIS became the Open Source Center.

In 1996, FBIS became available online through the World News Connection database, maintained by NTIS (National Technical Information Service.) However, as of 2014, the Open Source Center stopped sending these translations to NTIS and the World News Connection database ceased to exist, except as an archival collection which the UO does not own. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operates a similar service, and the CIA and BBC Monitoring cooperate to share information and divide regional responsibilities. You can get the BBC Monitoring Reports through the database Nexis Uni. See the box 'Translations of Foreign News' below.

For more information on the scope, history, and use of open source intelligence by the US and UK, see: Leetaru, K. "The Scope of FBIS and BBC Open Source Media Coverage, 1979-2008" Studies in Intelligence (54)1: 17-37

The University of Oregon Library has FBIS translations in a variety of formats 1946-2004. See the box "FBIS Holdings in Knight Library" below.

Translations of Foreign News

One source of  English translations of international news is BBC Monitoring: International Reports, which can be searched via Nexis Uni.  BBC Monitoring translates and analyzes news and information from freely available media sources around the world, covering TV, radio, press, internet and news agencies in 100 different languages from 150 countries.

To search:

  1. Connect to the Nexis Uni database
  2. On the left side, under "What are you interested in?", click on "A publication"
  3. To the right, under "Find Publication", start typing: BBC Monitoring... the full name will appear, click on it

4. You can type in some keywords in the middle search box before you click on the search button to the right, and/or you can limit your search results and search within the results.

FBIS Holdings in Knight Library

The University of Oregon Library has FBIS translations in a variety of formats since 1946.

1946-1951 (paper): FBIS Daily Reports (White Book version). Each daily issue contains several sections, each dealing with a world region such as the Soviet Union or the Far East. Location: Documents, Shelving Range C16A.

1/1952-3/1974 (microfilm): FBIS Daily Reports (White Book). Location: Microforms Collection, Microfilm D 839.U63.

1974-1977 (paper): FBIS Daily Reports (regional series). The UO Library has only the regional series for China (1974-1977), Eastern Europe (1974-1977) and the Soviet Union (1974-1976). Location: Documents, Shelving Range C16A.

1978-August 1996 (microfiche): FBIS Daily Reports (regional series). Daily Reports for the entire period for all regions is available in microfiche, and printed indexes are available for varying periods for each region. A CD-ROM index (DOC-LC/CR JA1.I53 1991-96) covers the years 1991-1996 for all regions. Location for Daily Reports: Microforms Collection, Documents Microfiche PREX 7.10.

1996-2004 (CD-ROM): FBIS Publications (DOC-US PREX 7.10/3) Quarterly CD-ROM disks contain the full texts of FBIS articles from all regions. This CD-ROM product is unrelated to the World News Connection (WNC) online service, and includes some articles not found in WNC.

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