Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
This former HBO executive is trying to use dramatic techniques to highlight the injustice in criminal justice
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 16, 2015, 11:44 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: www.bbc.co.uk  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   December 16, 2015

The BBC on Wednesday announced a “virtual voiceover” technology pilot, “Today in Video,” to transmit short video news packages in multiple languages, “using automatic translation and synthetic voice technology.”

Here’s a bit on how it works:

The tool, built by BBC News Labs, amalgamates existing technologies and allows a single editor to generate multi-lingual voiceovers on top of an existing video package and script. The script is translated automatically, edited by a journalist, and converted into a computer-generated voiceover. As the project develops automatic subtitles will be added.

The pilot is launching with support for Russian and Japanese. “We know there is a real need for impartial news in Russia,” a spokeswoman told me. The choice was also influenced by the availability of synthetic voices; not all languages are currently available.

Here’s a video of how it looks in action; the journalist can choose his or her favorite synthetic voices, with male and female options.

You can also watch that above video, translated into Japanese and including some subtitles, here.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
This former HBO executive is trying to use dramatic techniques to highlight the injustice in criminal justice
And hopefully to make some good TV along the way. Kary Antholis’ site Crime Story uses “a much more thematic, character-driven way of exploring these stories than how traditional media might pursue.”
Would acquiring The Ringer move Spotify to the top of the Podcast Pyramid?
Plus: new leadership coming to the BBC, a Scottish podcast network debuts, and a Public Radio Palooza.
What do we want? Unbiased reporting! When do we want it? During protests!
Not all protests get treated equally. Stories about women’s marches and anti-Trump protests give more voice to the protesters than those about Black Lives Matter and other anti-racism protests.