Hear today….

This morning the Today programme had items on Northern Rock (Vince Cable was brilliant), climate change targets, invalidity benefits, a controversial heroin treatment scheme, and whether IVF babies need to have a father on the birth certificate.

Last Friday an equally diverse segment included giving the Minister a hard time over jobs & training; plus salmon fishing, Beowulf, reminders of past civil wars in Chechen and East Timor, and the rebuilding of the wartime computers at Bletchley Park; a fantastic mix.

All of this without expensive camera crews on the spot, fancy sets or whizzy graphics; ‘Today’ gives you high quality content for a low carbon footprint.


Whatever else the BBC may cut to save budgets, please don’t cut the Today programme. It’s the best value we get from our license fee (followed by Saturday night BBC1 TV; strict questioning in the mornings, Strictly come dancing at the weekend).

Another item on today’s Today was about the growth of hearing loss among the over 50s. This may be less to do with the ageing process and more to do with growing up in the age of rock….

Ironically, one group of license fee payers who largely miss out on the joys of the Today programme are Deaf and hard of hearing. If you are registered blind, you get a 50% discount on your TV license, reflecting the fact that you don’t get the full benefit from the visual medium of TV. But you can still hear it; and the radio. Whereas if you are Deaf, you get no discount on your TV/radio license at all.

Subtitles are a prop for hearing, not a substitute. For live TV they are often inaccurate, and for drama they lack inflection and the timings are all wrong. For people with BSL as a first language, signing is needed; and that’s only available on a handful of programmes.

If you agree that Deaf people should get a discounted TV license, then please join me in signing the Downing Street petition. There’s also a campaign group on Facebook.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Movies, media, music ·Tagged deaf, licence, subtitles, TV Last November, I blogged about the campaign to get a discounted TV licence for deaf people. Blind people get a 50% discount; deaf people get none. The campaign included a Downing Street […]

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