CBC captioning falls short

Joe Clark released the results of a three-year study on captioning at the CBC today.

We should be leading on this. We brag about how we are in leading in this. But we are, unfortunately, failing. Even given some leeway for typos and whatnot, the captioning gets screwed up every 12 days, according to Joe. And those are just the ones he caught during “normal viewing.”

Now captioning is a hard job, believe me. And you might say a mistake like “tax right off” is not such a big deal, or that “COME ON BOYS!” is more comical than criminal. And you might also point out that unlike CTV, we don’t sneak in some captioning-only BMW advertising into the opening credits. And that we do better than them.

But this isn’t a courtesy to our hearing-impaired viewers, something we do to be nice. It’s the law. It’s a very fix-able problem, and in fact we promised to fix it 3 years ago.

I know we spent money on new equipment. I know we hired and trained more stenocaptioners, and that we have some on 24hour call.

So what went wrong? I’d like to know, myself.

3 comments:

  1. Joe Clark
    Posted November 16, 2005 at 9:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I seem to recall that Prison Break is captioned by WGBH. They do in fact market and insert slogans into their captioning credits.

  2. Ouimet
    Posted November 16, 2005 at 8:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Earlier this week on Prison Break, during the opening credits there was a “Captioning provided by BMW” which I thought was OK.

    But it was followed by a few more lines like “BMW – drive it, you’ll like it blah blah” which I thought was disingenuous.

  3. Joe Clark
    Posted November 15, 2005 at 10:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And you might also point out that unlike CTV, we don’t sneak in some captioning-only BMW advertising into the opening credits.

    What are you referring to? True sponsorship of captioning, as opposed to what passes for it in Canada? True captioning sponsorship is stated in the captions themselves.


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