1. Pulling closed captioning on various programming

    jake on 2004.02.17
    at 12:15 pm

    I came across an interesting post about a bunch of shows losing closed captioning. I'm not sure what to make of it, I found it first at Boing Boing, which led me to a post at Neil Gaiman's blog. This pointed out an article and the list of actual shows "censored."

    Of course everyone is chiming in with opinions. So far I've seen a bunch of stuff about the lack of programming containing witchcraft material. But it goes a lot further that that. And mostly it doesn't make sense.

    It's based on five people who don't know each other and didn't have any collaboration, probably they were asked to take an overly simplified survey.

    We have found the identity of one of the panelists. This individual tells us that he never knew he was on such a panel and that his views would be used for censorship. No panel was convened. The five panelists were contacted individually and separately.

    Along with the witchcraft shows, a bunch of cartoons, including The Simpsons and Scooby Doo were flagged, and a lot of sports programming. Mostly live telecasts of events. Which is going to go over well in bars where you can't hear the audio.

    The big thing I noticed was the discrepancies... some shows that were flagged while similar ones were not. The writers pointing out witchraft mentioned that Sabrina is being blocked. But only " Sabrina, The Animated Series" is mentioned. So syndicated versions of the live action (yes I know they were closed captioned in the past) are still going to be able to taint our youth. ;)

    But beyond that smaller problem I have trouble believing this one... A show that is still being cc'd is Amazing Animal Videos, a show where you watch family pets and the occasional wild animal do something stupid on camera.

    See some amazing videos of animals of every shape and size misbehaving and acting out of character. With interviews explaining the stories behind the footage.

    While two other programs, Emergency Vets and K9 to 5 are not being cc'd. This is odd when you consider the comment that was made to the The National Association of the Deaf

    The National Association of the Deaf says the government used to caption these shows but abruptly changed course, deciding that the shows don't fit the required definition of "educational, news or informational" programming.

    Am I wrong in thinking that closed captioning programs should be covered by the Disability Act? I'm not sure where all this is going, but censoring any show, regardless of content, should not happen.

    Posted in: Service Announcement · Television


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