16/12/2016 Newswatch


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At 10pm we will have a full round-up of the day's news but first it is


time the Newswatch. Hello and welcome to Newswatch


with me, Samira Ahmed. Coming up on the programme,


amid reports of atrocities in the battle for Aleppo,


how is the BBC verifying claims And, subtitles are leaving


some viewers baffled Lots of viewers have been in touch


questioning why the BBC devoted so much coverage to a story that


only affected the Here's the BBC's transport


correspondent Richard Wescott reporting on the first day


of the strike. All of Southern's 2000


services cancelled today. Southern wants its drivers to take


over closing the train doors. It's a job currently done


by the on-board guard. The unions say it's less safe


and threatens jobs in the long run. Well, we asked BBC News


for a response, and they told us... The war in Syria and the battle


for control of Aleppo has prompted several viewers to contact


Newswatch. After controlling the eastern half


of Aleppo for four years, rebel groups seeking to overthrow


President Bashar al-Assad this week lost almost


all of their strongholds Eastern Aleppo's recapture


by government forces came These scenes were filmed on a mobile


phone, after a Syrian army attack. There's been, says the UN,


a complete meltdown of humanity. Not everyone was happy


with the BBC's coverage. Over the past year we've heard


from a number of Newswatch viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing,


who are sometimes left So we decided to look


into how it works. Hi, I'm Suzy, I'm a live


subtitling team leader. A deaf or hard of hearing person


should be able to experience and get the same amount of enjoyment out


of a programme as a hearing person. Normally these days,


its voice recognition. So, I use my voice,


I have a microphone, These stakes are huge for us full


stop but comma our boys Which is much faster to stop


the delay in live subtitles. On BBC One, we can join the BBC's


News teams where you are. I'm listening to whatever


the person is saying, repeating it exactly,


adding punctuation, changing colours, and I'm


reading it on screen. You have to concentrate really hard,


because you're listening, you're speaking, you're reading,


and sometimes you're writing, I'm joined now by the BBC's head


of broadcast operations Simon Smith. So, an insight there into how hard


the work is of doing news But a number of viewers have got


in touch because they find the issue Nicholas Green says "I do not find


contemporaneous subtitles helpful, more of a distraction really,


because of the delay." Eileen Baxter says "We can go


to the moon and elsewhere, but TV programmers can never get


the subtitles right. They are either running behind


or they are put on so fast, We've seen that obviously


it is tricky doing it live. Live subtitling


is done in real time. The first time that the subtitler


hears what they've then got to turn into a text subtitle is exactly


the same moment that the audience are hearing that


interview or report. Inaccuracies are another huge


frustration for viewers. And Malcolm Crowe recorded a video


for us to highlight a mistake in the reporting of the recent fatal


Croydon tram crash. There was a boy in the clip


talking about he'd been on the tram, and he survived,


but his friend did not. And some of the words


which appeared on screen to explain what he was saying


were really wrong. We should be able to


have something better. That is a particularly unfortunate


one, because obviously But people do sometimes wonder why


they are so weird, I don't know, When you have a fast


breaking news story, quite often the subtitling team,


like the rest of the operation, We are constantly trying to improve


the speech text software. But occasionally, words will be


misheard by the automation And that's why sometimes words


come out and they look Usually, the reason


for that is that the word that the software has put out sounds


a little bit like the one In a live environment it's very


difficult to go back and change that because it's such


a fast-moving situation. A related issue is new terms that


then become a regular part of news. Alan Haleston has sent us a screen


grab from the Andrew Marr show. Theresa May was talking


about "Brexit" but it was How long does it take to get


a word like that right? I would expect that "Brexit" now


is in such common usage, that I would expect that


automatically to come out correct. But it's a good example of how


the software often can mishear and misinterpret words


that are spoken. The "rex" of "Brexit" and "Wrexham",


it's got confused there. Is there a sense of going


through a list, and thinking, these are the words that


are emerging, and actually putting So what happens is that a subtitler


will go through the expected running order and identify unusual words,


and they will train the software to use the right word


when they re-speak it on air. The challenge is that there is only


a limited amount of vocabulary that Sometimes if a word isn't expected,


you will get that mistake. I have to say, within that example,


an interview with the Prime Minister at the moment in the current


situation, I would have expected that to be correct


and we will certainly take that away Viewer Malcolm Crowe


who we heard from earlier, obviously uses subtitles a lot,


has said he has started to watch Sky News now instead


of BBC News, here's why. We find that the subtitles


on Sky are more reliable It's not so much a matter of choice


but it's a matter of necessity if we want to get the proper sense


of what's going on. So is the BBC using the most


up-to-date technology as perhaps That's a very interesting


observation, because I can absolutely guarantee


that the technology which is used for Sky is the same technology


which is used for the BBC, because they use the same system


that was developed for the BBC Subtitling, I'm afraid,


of that form, live subtitling I fully accept there


is further to go. But equally we have had some


significant improvements Simon Smith, thank you so much


for coming on Newswatch. Do let us know your thoughts on


that, or on any aspect of BBC News. Details of how to contact us


at the end of the programme. Now, a few people contacted


Newswatch about the BBC's coverage of the Nobel Prize ceremony


in Stockholm, concerned that the BBC focused too much


on Bob Dylan's non-appearance. TRANSLATION: Bob Dylan came


to literature through the beauty With his work, Bob Dylan changed


the way we understand poetry. He may not have been


there to receive his award, but fellow singer Patti Smith


did turn up. She performed one of his most


famous songs, eventually. Thank you so much for


all your comments this week. If you want to share your opinions


on BBC News or current affairs, or even appear on the programme,


you can call us on 0370 010 6676, You can find us on


Twitter @NewswatchBBC. Do have a look at our website,


bbc.co.uk/newswatch. We'll be back in the New Year


on January 6th to hear your thoughts Until then, from all of us


on the programme, have a very happy


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