Seniors and Media
What you are not aware of - the social and informational disconnect!
The hearing impaired, mature adults, ESL residents all suffer the same issue.
By Ruth Martin
Does the media pay attention to the growing population of our seniors; the hearing impaired; ESL residents; and all others who are affected by the same issue?
I think we answer this question at the end of this article.
Elderly people, hearing impaired, ESL residents and all others watch TV often with Close Captioning (CC). This means there is a running banner of words and sentences at or on the lower portion of the TV screen that mimics the verbal script. This is especially helpful for all people with hearing problems and for viewers where the conversation/dialog is too quickly spoken or an accent not understood.
Unfortunately, often in interview and new cast programming, the name and title/position of the person shown on the TV screen is placed by the Studio in the lower portion of the TV screen. This information is hidden behind the CC and often the words are imposed upon each other.
I think there should be a possibility to place this kind of information above the CC or at the top of the TV screen, and it may remain visible for more than a few seconds. It often takes longer for viewers to see and process all the visual information on the screen. But if the CC stays a little longer on the screen, the information, dialog and visuals, for this CC should as well stay longer. All this may slow down the process for follow up information; resulting in less information, especially with news as it has an especially fast tempo.
Would it not be fantastic if there would be built-in standard equipment in each TV so that every individual can program their own speed needs with their remote control? An application that allows viewers to set up their own speed together with CC, not only to slow down or review selected excerpts but view whole programs, movies, everything on TV, a few seconds slower than it is aired "real time" by the TV station.
There are other unsolved “mysteries” in the media.
Radio, TV, movies, all media information use music to emphasize the narrative, use it as a break between different oral information, furthermore to cover “empty” space/time, or for any other reasons. Often the music is still very prominent when the reporting or dialogue begins again.
The voice is not heard or is not understandable thus missing this part of the facts. This is especially notable when one sequence changes to another one.
Translation from a foreign language to English is another problem. If you pay attention at the beginning of any translation whether it is on TV, Radio, or any other spoken media, you will hear that the foreign language is still louder then the English voice over. This results in missing the beginning part of the translation.
Please responsible people in the media as well as potential “smart” television manufacturers, as nearly as I am proposing these recommendations for layout, editing, streaming, and watching TV, these changes would be more user-friendly and beneficial to all of us; not only to the elders, our hearing impaired, our ESL residents in our society but to all people who may have the need or the desire to control the speed of the audio and/or visual portion of their viewing.