Independent auditor to oversee Nine Network’s captioning

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Thursday, 24 March 2011 13:19pm

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”.

The auditing process commenced on 14 March 2011, and will continue for two years.

As part of the ‘final report’ from the Federal Government’s Media Access Review, released last December, the Broadcasting Services Act will be amended to include a statement about captions being of “adequate quality”. The ACMA was also instructed to hold workshops and develop criteria for judging caption quality. A number of these workshops, in which Media Access Australia takes part along with consumer organisations, caption suppliers and the networks, have already been held.

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