Universal Newsreel
A 1962 Universal Newsreel on the 1st anniversary of the Berlin Wall's construction, narrated by Ed Herlihy
Also known asUniversal-International Newsreel
Universal Irish News
Created bySam B. Jacobson
Running time7–10 minutes
Production companyUniversal Studios
Original release
ReleaseFebruary 19, 1919 (1919-02-19) –
May 23, 1993 (1993-05-23)

Universal Newsreel (sometimes known as Universal-International Newsreel or just U-I Newsreel) was a series of 7- to 10-minute newsreels that were released twice a week between 1929 and 1967 by Universal Studios. A Universal publicity official, Sam B. Jacobson, was involved in originating and producing the newsreels.[1] Nearly all of them were filmed in black-and-white, and many were narrated by Ed Herlihy. From January 1919 to July 1929, Universal released International Newsreel, produced by Hearst's International News Service—this series later became Hearst Metrotone News released first by Fox Film Corporation 1929–1934 and then by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer beginning in 1934.

In 1974, the films' owner, MCA, made the decision to donate all its edited newsreels and outtakes collection to the National Archives, without copyright restrictions.[2] The decision effectively released the films into the public domain, although some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights.[3] Because royalties no longer have to be paid in order to broadcast them, Universal Newsreels have become a popular source of file footage in recent years. The History Channel made them a key part of the TV series Year-By-Year. Also, C-SPAN and CNN regularly use the films for video of events that took place before those networks were founded.

Also in the United Kingdom as Universal News from 1930 to 1959, a successor to Empire News Bulletin,[4] and in Ireland as Universal Irish News,[5] both are currently held (including British Paramount News) under Reuters archive.

Other U.S. newsreel series included Pathé News (1910–1956), Fox Movietone News (1928–1963), Hearst Metrotone News/News of the Day (1914–1967), Paramount News (1927–1957), and The March of Time (1935–1951).


  1. ^ Eileen S. Quigley. International Motion Picture Almanac, Volume 48. Quigley Publications, 1938. p. 394.
  2. ^ A Moving Image "Newspaper": Universal Newsreels at the National Archives – The Unwritten Record
  3. ^ James Konicek. "A Moving Image "Newspaper": Universal Newsreels at the National Archives". The Unwritten Record. National Archives Records Administration. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Universal News". British Universities Film & Video Council.
  5. ^ "Universal Irish News". British Universities Film & Video Council.

Series overview

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
15315 January 1925 (1925-01-05)26 March 1929 (1929-03-26)
218616 December 1929 (1929-12-16)5 April 1933 (1933-04-05)
32996 May 1933 (1933-05-06)2 June 1935 (1935-06-02)
435516 November 1935 (1935-11-16)10 March 1937 (1937-03-10)
Special30 October 2018 (2018-10-30)
5269 April 2019 (2019-04-09)8 October 2019 (2019-10-08)