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February 19, 2004

Government cuts closed-captioning funds

From:, VA - Feb 19, 2004

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Education Department has cut money for closed captioning of nearly 200 TV shows, citing a 1997 congressional mandate to pay for "educational, news and informational" programming only.

But advocates for the deaf say they haven't been able to find out why the department has decided to finance some programs and not others, or who's making the decisions.

The head of the National Association of the Deaf says it's merely an attempt to prevent the hearing-impaired from being exposed to "non-Puritan programming."

But CBS, Fox and Nickelodeon say they'll pay for the captioning for their programs.

By 2006, it may all be moot.

Federal law will require that the vast majority of all programming to have captioning, with the burden placed on the TV industry to pay for it.

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