Television

Repealing captioning red tape: Caption quotas

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In the fourth part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the confusing state of caption quotas for Australian TV, and how they can be simplified to benefit consumers and broadcasters.

Man's right hand holding open scissors over a line of red tape


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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption reporting

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In the third part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at calls to end the requirement that broadcasters must report on how much captioning they have done.

Scissors cutting through red tape


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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption quotas on subscription TV

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In the second part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the issue of caption quotas on subscription television, and the importance for consumers of knowing in advance how much will be captioned on individual channels.

Open scissors cutting through red tape


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Repealing captioning red tape: Improving caption regulation

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The next round of the Federal Government’s repeal red tape campaign is due to take place next month and is likely to include captioning issues. We have contacted a number of interest groups including Federal politicians with our recommendations on how repealing red tape could benefit the operation of the captioning elements of the Broadcasting Services Act.

Right hand holding open scissors over a line of red tape


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ACMA finds Nine cricket coverage breached caption quality rules

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that segments of Channel Nine Cricket broadcast in January 2014 breached its caption quality standard.

The ACMA’s standard, which came into effect in July 2013, states that captions must be readable, accurate and comprehensible. The breaches related to the pre-game segments of programs which went to air on 12 and 17 January.


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How fast should captions be?

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A recent article by Diana Sanchez, General Manager of Red Bee Media Spain, looks at one of the perennial areas of debate about captioning— the optimum speed for captions on television.

In the article, Sanchez notes that studies have shown that some people have difficulty reading captions because they are too fast, yet they have consistently become faster over the last 30 years, and asks why this has happened.

The answer, writes Sanchez, is that whenever caption providers or other bodies that draw up quality standards consult organisations which represent the Deaf and hearing impaired, the latter will generally push for captions which are closer to verbatim.


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Caption reports hide great access story

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Why is it that our communications regulator seems satisfied to hide great achievements in access by our free-to-air television stations? Commentary by Alex Varley.

Developments that benefit viewers, stations, advertisers and content providers should be celebrated and publicised. Instead the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) puts out reports that hide innovation and the power of the market to deliver more under a spirit of healthy competition.


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ACMA releases free-to-air TV captioning compliance reports

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Most Australian broadcasters exceeded their captioning targets in 2012-2013, according to compliance reports released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), although there were some breaches related to individual programs.

The ACMA reports show that all the commercial broadcasters exceeded their target for the year of captioning 90% of programs between 6 am and midnight. The ABC failed to reach it in one of its coverage areas (out of eight) and SBS for four coverage area (out of 12), but as these breaches were due to significant technical or engineering difficulties, the ACMA disregarded them.


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Q&A with Wendy Youens

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In our latest Media Access Australia ‘experts in access’ Q&A, we talk to Wendy Youens, CEO of the New Zealand access company Able, which provides captioning and audio description services for television and other media.

How and when did captioning begin in New Zealand, and how is it funded?

Captioning began in NZ back in 1984 on a few programmes every week, funded by the proceeds of the 1981 Telethon. Captioning started to grow in 1991 when captions were launched for TV ONE’S 6pm news bulletin. Since then the captioning service has been funded by the good folk at NZ On Air, New Zealand’s government broadcast funding agency.


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