TV access

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Achievements in captioning recognised


The media industry celebrated a year of achievement last night at the Deafness Forum of Australia Captioning Awards. Leaders from TV networks, caption providers, DVD distributors and community organisations gathered to share in the progress made by the industry towards inclusive media.

The winners were for each category were:

Roma Wood Community Award: Wayne Hawkins, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

DVD captioning: Warner Home Video

Most consistent use of captions: Javier Arriaga, The Sub Station

Best promotion of captioning: Ai-Media for Ai-Live

TV Captioning:  TV Award is Fox Sports for Hyundai A-League

Best new captioning initiative:  ABC iView for the iView iPad App and the Australian Communications Exchange for Smart Auslan and captions for the Melbourne Sports Museum

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Ofcom reveals UK television’s spotless access record


The UK's media and communications regulator, Ofcom, has not reported a breach of access requirements on UK television in over 15 months.

British television, including digital terrestrial, subscription and digital multichannels are required to meet specific captioning, sign language and audio description levels as part of their broadcast licence conditions.

Ofcom publishes a bi-monthly Broadcast Bulletin detailing any incidents or breaches of broadcast licence conditions, including requirements for television access services.

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Independent auditor to oversee Nine Network’s captioning


The Nine Network has appointed an independent auditor to oversee captioning on its stations TCN and NBN. This follows two instances where the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the stations had breached their captioning obligations under the Broadcasting Services Act.

The ACMA found that NBN had failed to provide a captioning service for four editions of its Evening News in June-July 2010, while TCN had also had also failed to provide the service for a segment of A Current Affair broadcast on 28 July 2010.

The ACMA has welcomed Nine’s voluntary appointment of an independent auditor, although its chairman, Chris Chapman, stated that, “the ACMA will continue to closely monitor any complaints received about caption delivery in the broadcasting sector”.

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‘Media Watch’ puts the spotlight on poor captioning


Last night’s episode of Media Watch on the ABC looked at the state of news captioning on Australian television, and found that all too often the quality is so poor that captions are incomprehensible.

The program, which can be viewed on ABC's iView service with captions, noted that many of the problems stem from an increased use of ‘voice captioning’ (where a captioner re-speaks dialogue as a program goes to air and speech recognition software converts it into captions). Previously, live programs and live segments of news bulletins could only be captioned by highly-paid, highly-trained stenocaptioners.

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