NPR signs a podcast and radio show transcription agreement. | Narrative
Podcasters have come under pressure from deaf and hard of hearing communities to make their shows more accessible through transcripts. Some even complained. In a bid to make its content more accessible, NPR has struck a deal with UK-based Take 1 to transcribe some of the network’s podcasts and news shows.
Under the contract, which began in January but has only just been announced, Take 1 is providing NPR with XML transcripts for more than 30 daily and weekly programs and limited series, with turnaround times ranging from a few days to just a few hours. the NPR Political Podcast is such a spectacle put into the written word. See an example of what this looks like on the NPR website HERE.
Laura Soto-Barra, head of research archives and data strategy at NPR, said one of her biggest challenges when looking for a company to transcribe network content was that most don’t weren’t able to handle the high volume and urgent deadlines they needed. Others were too expensive.
“NPR poses an additional challenge because of the many specialist topics we cover, from global politics to science and medicine. Additionally, the technical requirements and format that allows the transcript to be ingested into NPR systems present additional challenges that not all companies can address,” Soto-Barra said. “We’ve known the Take 1 team for many years, we’ve used their translation services in the past, and they were one of the few I knew who could handle this case.”
The deal integrates Take 1’s transcripts into NPR’s content production process for shows such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” and are provided in XML format to integrate with systems’ internal workflows. NPR. This helps speed up their processing and posting to NPR’s website.
The availability of transcripts has been a heightened concern for podcasters, particularly after some deaf and hard of hearing activists took to the courts last year to push podcasters to make their shows more accessible. The National Association of Deaf and Disability Advocates in December filed a complaint against Stitcher and Pandora’s parent SiriusXM on behalf of five deaf members alleging that it was not doing enough to make their programming accessible to people who are hard of hearing. The lawsuit asks the federal court to order the podcasters not only to make the transcripts available, but also to award the plaintiffs compensatory damages and unspecified legal fees.
Several podcast companies have been looking for ways to make their shows more accessible. Spotify announced last May that it was rolling out a “limited beta” test of a new auto-transcribe feature as part of several updates to its app.
Amazon said in November it was also making a synchronized transcription function available on its Amazon Music app, giving listeners the ability to follow an episode along with a written transcript. Synchronized transcripts are deployed in phases.
The National Association of the Deaf says there are more than 48 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans.