Writing and Language Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Access to prominent political events on the World Wide Web: the case of the final 2016 US presidential debate

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The final presidential debate in the U.S. was one of the most widely followed programs of 2016. The main broadcasters aired it live on television and streamed it through social media with closed captioning so that all Americans could access this highly awaited political event. After the debate night, most networks uploaded the full program or fragments of it to their websites in order to make it available to viewers who had missed the original transmission. This paper focuses on the closed captioning provided in the videos of the final debate available on the websites and YouTube channels of the most prominent networks that televised the event. Drawing on literature from Media Accessibility, Communication and Internet Studies, an analysis of the availability and functionality of the online captions in those clips was performed, which proved that the accessibility services offered after the debate night to audiences with hearing loss could be substantially improved.


© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature


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Universal Access in the Information Society