Ever Notice How Bad Closed Captioning Is? One Government Agency Is Doing Something About It LA Times

Noting that closed captions on television "are often riddled with typos or incomplete sentences that leave viewers struggling to make sense of what's being said," the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that a key government agency has set its sights on improving the situation.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt new rules aimed at improving the quality of closed captioning, the story reports.

The report cites as an example a recent weather forecast on WeatherNation that was transcribed as “five wins and a very light power reese know,” which was supposed to say, “high winds and a very light, powdery snow."

“The FCC will require that captions must match spoken words in dialogue and convey background noises and other sounds to the fullest extent possible, according to agency officials familiar with the order,” the story reports.

The report adds: “The order will also mandate that captions not block other content on the screen, overlap one another, run off the edge of the video screen or be blocked by other information.”

The story notes that the proposed changes "sat in limbo for a decade," until new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who has had the job for just a few months, started pushing to fast-track the regulations.

Thumbnail image for tom wheeler.pngTom Wheeler