Why LISTen does not offer transcripts
The question arises at times as to why LISTen does not have transcripts available. The first thought in my mind is that the team is producing an audio production and not a weekly newsletter. Even at the longer length, LISTen is geared quite a bit towards folks who are making their morning commute to work. With the prevalence of "bedroom communities" in the United States it only appeared logical to consider listeners having commutes longer than five minutes. With an international audience, I also have the difficult task of ensuring that I am not completely focused on the United States to the exclusion of other things.
Transcripts are not impossible to find for various media expressions. CNN's transcripts are available freely online and the up-to-minute ones appear to be recordings of what was shown in Closed Captioning. Other media outlets provide such on a fee basis for programs such as the chat show hosted by Phil Donahue.
While there are scripts to some portions of the podcast, the percent of each episode that is scripted is far less than it was eight months ago. Live interviews have been obtained. The problem is that I cannot do the transcripts myself. It is hard enough listening to myself as we prep an air check and I don't want to hear myself over and over saying the same thing.
A firm in the Los Angeles area known as Noble Transcription Service does cater to podcasters. Their rate card is available online. In terms of their rates, LISTen would normally fall into their third category due to the multiple voices heard and varying segment types which otherwise results in a fee of $3.15 per minute for transcription. To cover the special edition with Dr. Stanley Kurtz as well as episodes thirty two to thirty four the cost for three to five day turnaround is USD$267.75. A rush order for those episodes coming back in one to two days would cost USD$352.75.
At the blog of Uncontrolled Vocabulary I did quote some incorrect figures. Those related to another service I cannot quite afford at the moment. I apologize for any confusion caused by that, especially in terms of this post.
This is not a cost I can pick up right now let alone on a continuing basis. Producing the podcast, among other things, became my day job as of the start of August. I have had to do enough donor prospect research to try to fund the operation of what is regarded as a legitimate media entity. Unfortunately nothing has turned up as to those funding hunts, yet.
Seeking podcast transcripts is a difficult thing. Contrary to what some who frequent LISNews may think, LISTen is actually quite mainstream in the podcasting world and considered fairly timid. We're not blazing new trails but we're also not in left field. I know that the TWiT.TV LLC network of podcasts offers no transcripts for their shows and they not only have more staff than the crew at Erie Looking Productions but also quite a bit of funding that I only wish I had. Mr. Laporte's network is now up to four employees and will hit five once they hire a video editor. If the eight hundred pound gorilla in the field is not moving on releasing transcripts then perhaps its lead needs to be followed.
I do not write this to be nasty or evil. I put this forward to show the business realities I am working within. It was suggested at one point to have a subscription-based entity operating to divide the costs of transcripts as well as operations. I dismissed the suggestion on the grounds that that would be too much like how Rush Limbaugh operates and that I doubted anyone would subscribe.
Transcripts are not free. There is a cost involved. The rate card I have linked to above shows what the minimums per minute will be. The machine-produced transcription service that is out there currently does not cover LISTen and likely won't be making things free any time soon. I'm out of ways to avoid any costs on this one.
You can suggest ways of funding this by hitting up the contact form and selecting under category "Contacting LISNews Podcast". That reaches not only the team in Las Vegas but also Blake. This has been an open matter for consideration for a while now and we have come to no good answer. If you have a good answer, we are interested in hearing what you have to say.
The head of logistics at Erie Looking Productions said as to this, "You guys do enough freebie [EXPLETIVE DELETED]."