The NZ Herald Picks of the Week. “It should be 100% captioned every week, every day, across all channels broadcast in New Zealand, public and private.”

The NZ Herald Picks of the week gave us a surprise result this week, but definitely not so for Anzac Day.

We took a break from this blog series over Easter and Anzac Day, but so it seems did our captions. The NZ On Air website proudly stated in the trailer for the Anzac Commemoration that ‘Our funding allows important national events to be seen on TV by all NZ’. Most New Zealanders would surely consider ANZAC commemorations an important national event? According to their own website, NZ On Air funded NZD $266,608 (2014) for 5.5 hours of programming. However just 1.5 hours of these ($46,608) were captioned – just 17.3% for an ‘important national event’.

If you include all the other ANZAC coverage from TV1, TV3 etc, by far the majority of which was not captioned, the percentage is even less.

Simply not good enough but ‘We will remember them’ regardless.

So back to NZ Herald TV Picks of the Week

When: Wednesday 9.30pm
Where: Soho
NOT Captioned

My Kitchen Rules
When: Monday 8pm, Tuesday, Wednesday 7.30pm
Where: TV2

When: Wednesday 9.30pm
Where: TVOne

Greys Anatomy
When: Monday 9.40pm
Where: TV2

When: Sunday 7.30pm
Where: TV1

Captions Score: 80%

So a great captioning result for Picks of the Week this week!

This is largely because the programming picks are TVOne and TV2 prime time TV slots where Able do try to focus their attention. I would question the value of captioning an Australian reality show, cooking program (My Kitchen Rules) over perhaps TVOne Sunday morning ‘Q&A’ in an election year. Especially seeing the results of surveys conducted amongst the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, clearly state that this group of people want to see more News and Documentary style programmes over any other genre.

However, although the result this week is good, it is not consistent. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and others that benefit from captions – such as those with Austism, English as a second language and those struggling with literacy (our literacy rates are falling in New Zealand) should not have to feel chuffed that this week in prime time they can watch the TV the same as everyone else.

It should be that way every week, every day, across all channels broadcast in New Zealand, public and private.

In closing, I congratulate the Maketu Sisters Karena and Stacy Bird on their win last night. Just as the Masterchef final bucked tradition with the dessert of choice, which was an 80’s gateaux throwback, I would like to see the NZ Government buck tradition as well and legislate so that all Broadcasters in New Zealand have to caption everything. This would make all programs every day (and on demand) as accessible as the final of Masterchef last night.

Captioning is ‘not the super-hard’.

“And then bucking tradition, the final challenge is not the super-hard, precarious dessert we’ve come to expect”
– New Zealand Herald TV Picks of the Week re Masterchef Final.

– Helen MacKay

Link to New Zealand Herald

See an Index of all our Captioning Blogs here.

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