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City of Dubuque Closed Captioning

With the new fiscal year that begins today (Monday, July 1) comes the official kick-off of closed captioning for City Council meetings and other select City videos.  Over the past month or two we have been doing some caption tests, so there are already a handful of captioned programs now airing on CityChannel Dubuque and available on the City’s website.
Tonight at 9:30 p.m. I explain how City of Dubuque closed captioning will work in the premiere of a new City Journal program dedicated to this topic.  The show is about 26 minutes in length and is captioned.  Online captions for it will be available tomorrow morning.
In a nutshell, City of Dubuque closed captioning will not be done live, and we won’t be captioning every program.  We have a fixed budget for the fiscal year that we have to follow.  But we plan on captioning all City Council meetings.  Here’s how meeting captioning will work:  The morning after a meeting, we will prep the live meeting recording for playback and encode the on-air file.  Then we will upload an audio file of the meeting to a captioning service where a human being will listen to it and prepare a verbatim transcript.  With that transcript and the appropriate timings, the captioning company will create a series of caption files which we download.  We then use some recently purchased software that will embed the closed captions into the video files that air on CityChannel Dubuque.  We will also upload the appropriate caption file to our web page where it will run in tandem with the online video file and be visible if you activate the captions on whatever device you’re using to view the online meeting.  The caption setting is typically in the lower righthand corner of the online video viewing program.
Initially, we plan to request a two-day turnaround for City Council meeting captions.  So we expect that we’ll have those captions back on Thursday for a Monday meeting (how the July 4 holiday will affect this is unknown).
Other programs will be captioned as we produce them.  We plan on requesting a four-day turnaround on non-Council meeting programming.
Captioned programs will contain a “CC” at the end of the titles in our online Program Guide, our on-screen listings on CityChannel Dubuque, and on the video page of the City’s website.  As captioned programs air on CityChannel Dubuque, they will be preceded by a 10-second “intro ID” that contains the closed captioning symbol (the letters “CC” inside a box).
We ask for your patience as we begin this initiative and find the most efficient workflow.  We also welcome your feedback.  I can be reached directly via email.
We are excited to offer closed captioning and hope that it will lead to a more inclusive and equitable community.
Craig Nowack
Cable TV Coordinator
City of Dubuque

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