Editors Note: I don’t believe the ABC has even thought about the discriminatory impact of these transcript cutbacks on the deaf community. The provision of transcripts is a very important access tool for the deaf and hearing impaired and perhaps other disability groups. I will bring this post to the attention of the ABC and see whether they can reconsider the decision. I fear though that much public lobbying by the disability community will be required to reverse this decision.
Some broadcasters at the ABC are not happy with a decision by management to dramatically wind back transcriptions of news and current affairs programs. The transcripts of AM, The World Today, PM, 7.30 and Lateline are a major journalistic source at Aunty and beyond, and are also widely used by politicians, researchers and the public.
But a note from the head of current affairs, Bruce Belsham, seen by Weekly Beast, says only one key interview from each radio program will be transcribed. “From Monday 8th August there is a change to our transcription set-up and from then only the key interviews from our programs will be transcribed,” the note said.
Sunday’s Insiders program will no longer be transcribed – except for the political interview which will be posted the following day, Monday. Hardest hit will be radio current affairs which will have to chose only one from each program. Lateline and 7.30 will still be transcribed but not until the following day.
“As audience needs have changed with the shift to mobile consumption, and towards key ABC digital properties such as abc.net.au/news and apps, the need for this focus on transcripts has reduced, and the need for digital staff to create bespoke versions of stories and program items in text, video and audio formats is increasing,” the note said.