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News That Isn't.

Posted by Non-Hamster on May 27th, 2008

I've come to really like living in really-small-town-USA.  There's a definite advantage to it.  Life runs at a slower pace and there's a lot less stress than there is with city life.  Of course, I am not a hamster, I know it's not all perfect.  There are many ways in which we pay for this slower lifestyle.

One of them is in television.  If you're not getting tv via satellite or cable, then were we live there is ONE, count 'em, ONE television station that you can pick up with rabbit ears.  A rooftop antenna will help some, making the picture sharper and it will gain a little bit of signal on a PBS channel that I think is off in Missouri someplace.

Even so, that's something you can eventually get used to and learn to live with.  The one station however, isn't exactly the best of the bunch, for the most part they try to do a good job but there's times when their news coverage in particular has problems.  On of those areas is in their use of closed captioning signals.

Between severe tinnitus and some noticeable hearing loss, I can't always understand what's being said on the evening newscast.  Between that and occasional phone calls I can have a problem knowing what they're talking about and guessing based on the pictures doesn't cut it at all.

So I started using the closed captioning... or trying to.  It's the weirdest thing, the captioning on the latest hit tv shows is nearly always dead on but the news is another world entirely.  Despite the fact that most of the news is scripted, the closed captioning often skips long parts of it.  Most, if not all, of the ad-lib material by the anchors is missed.

Then there's the times when it gets out of sync with the picture.  You're looking at a weather map and hearing reading about a city council meeting from a story that ended a couple minutes ago.  Of course that often works both ways, sometimes you'll see the captioning for whatever is coming up in a minute or two.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone at the station EVER tries to follow the closed captioning on their news broadcasts.

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