Pietro Passarelli

quickQuote - Times & Sunday Times

GitHub, Url | Youtube
Stack: Video JS, JQuery, Ruby, Rails, Spoken Data API, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS, Git, Javascript,
A tool for journalists to easily find and add video quotes to news articles

This project was done while working as newsroom developer at the Times & Sunday Times as part of a summer placement for the final project of the UCL Msc in Computer Science.

On The Times Digital blog I wrote about the thinking behind the project.

In a nutshell if we take the coverage of the Republican presidential candidate debate on Fox News most news outlet merely copied the quotes verbatim and them paired them with photos of the candidates.

A video screencast example

Here’s a screencast of a demo of an alternative “interactive video quote” a journalist could embed in a news article.

An interactive example

And here is the quote you see in the video above embedded in this page. Followed by the HTML, CSS and JS code.

► Watch Video

A five billion dollar web site, I have so many websites, I have them all over the place. I hire people they do a web site, it costs me three dollars.
Donald Trump

An in context example

See this demo before and after for an example of how it could change the way users experience quotes in an article.

The embed code for a video quote


<div class='video-quote' id='videoQuoteText-id-n'>
  <span class='glyphicon glyphicon-play-circle'></span>
     <small>►  Watch Video </small><br><br>
    A five billion dollar web site, I have so many websites, I have them all over the place. I hire people they do a web site, it costs me three dollars.
    <br><cite id='authorVideoQuote'>Donald Trump</cite>
  <div  id='video-wrap-n' class='video-wrap video-wrap--closed'>
    <video class=' video-js vjs-default-skin' id='video-quote' controls preload='auto' width='100%' height='auto' poster='' data-setup='{}'>
      <source src='http://nuk-tnl-edtl-videoanalyser-dev.s3.amazonaws.com/videos/quotes/54/snippet_54.mp4' id='snippetURLVideo' type='video/mp4' />


      .video-quote  blockquote {
          background: #FAFAFC;
          border-left: 10px solid #E8E8F2;
          margin: 1.5em 10px;
          padding: 0.5em 10px;
          quotes: "\201C""\201D""\2018""\2019";
      .video-quote  blockquote:before {
          color: #3D5266;
          content: '“';
          font-family: Times!important;
          font-size: 4em;
          line-height: 0.1em;
          margin-right: 0.25em;
          vertical-align: -0.4em;
      .video-quote blockquote p {
          display: inline;
      cite#authorVideoQuote {
         font-style: italic;
      .video-wrap {
          overflow: hidden;
          height: auto;
          -webkit-transition: height 0.3s ease;

      .video-wrap--closed {
          height: 0;


  document.getElementById('videoQuoteText-id-n').onclick = function() {
      if (document.getElementById('video-wrap-n').classList.contains('video-wrap--closed')) {
      } else {

In the following video you can see how a user can, once a video as been uploaded an processed by the speech to text API, search through the text, select a quote, edit it, preview and export it.

The code for an interactive video quote is not particularly complex.

But what is interesting in the quickQuote project is how we programmatically generate this embed code once a journalist has made a quote selection.

For more details on this check out the project page, the github repository, user manual and documentation.

Or checkout the the report I wrote for UCL, which details investigation into the problem domain, similar open source projects, as well as application design and architecture.

The main features in Screenshots

Two way sync between video and corresponding transcription

Search transcription for keywords

Select text grabs in and out point of corresponding video

Edit automatically generated transcription from speech to text API if it’s not 100% accurate

See a preview of the video quote

With dropdown

Export HTML, CSS, JS code to embed in news article.

And here is a preview of the embed code using JS Fiddle

On Social Media

Press Mentions