Joe Clark: Accessibility | Design | Writing

CBC captioning atrocity update

It’s been two full years since I submitted a raft of evidence that CBC wasn’t living up to its legal mandate to caption every single second of CBC Television and Newsworld. I promised updates at least every month on what they were doing wrong. (No points for getting things right; that isn’t how compliance monitoring works.)

In the cold light of day, it’s clear that CBC refuses to clean up its act completely. I assume they have nothing but bullshit reasons for such refusal, chief of which is a claim that doing things right costs more. CBC has the money. More relevantly, I am pretty sure they are refusing to improve in a few areas because I’m the one who outed them on doing things wrong. They’d rather sit there in legal noncompliance than do anything that suggests I was right all along. I was, of course.

What does 100% captioning really mean?

The same thing I already told you it means: Five-nines or 99.999% captioning, the same standard HBO uses. (CBC’s legal ruling calls for 100% captioning save for “glitches.”)

On a 24/7/365 network, that means you can run 525 minutes 36 seconds of uncaptioned material a year, or just under nine hours. Run five subtitled movies without captioning and you bust that number right there.


Not improved

More trouble on the way

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has begun work on its report on the CBC mandate. It will surely include a page or two on accessibility in the wake of the evidence I gave on the topic.

I have, moreover, filed an access-to-information request to receive any and all captioning manuals, and to receive everything Brigitte Ouellet and Peggy Zulauf have ever written about me by name.

What about the title?

“CBC captioning atrocity update” is a(n) homage to an old posting about Homicide captioning. I’ve used it before.

Posted: 2007.11.21

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