Writing and Language Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Closed captioning quality in the information society: the case of the American newscasts reshown online

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Many Americans access information through the evening newscasts shown on mainstream television. Nevertheless, the technological developments that our society has experienced in the last decade are changing the traditional information-access paradigm. The number of Internet consumers has increased exponentially and, among many other habits, the World Wide Web is transforming the way in which users get entertained and informed. Aware of this reality, many broadcasters use their websites as baits to attract larger and more varied audiences and, in attempts to increase viewership, they host online programs that were first aired live on television. According to the current regulations in the U.S., those reshows need to include closed captions of at least the same quality as those originally delivered on television. This paper presents the main findings of a research project exploring how this applies to the case of the national evening newscasts uploaded to the websites of four major broadcasters. Results show that efforts are being made to provide good IP-delivered subtitles, but that there is still room for improvement in terms of completeness, placement and accuracy.


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Univ Access Inf Soc