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Captioning Training

The original Caption Masters Series (CMS) seminar, has helped to train hundreds of realtime reporters become skilled broadcast captioners and CART writers. Today the Caption Masters Series has been adapted into Caption Master Series II, a remote version of the seminar taught over the course of 4 months.

Caption Masters Series II is unique because it does not teach tricks to writing.  Rather, it builds on what you already know and gives you strategies to be successful. See testimonials from past students.

This new and innovative training program will prepare you for a career in broadcast captioning and CART (optional).  This program has been specifically designed by experts in the field to provide participants with hands-on training through online multi-media seminars, manuals, dictionary builders and realtime writing evaluation.  

Caption Masters is broken down into 4 one-month modules:

              Module 1 | Introduction to Broadcast Captioning

  • History of Captioning—FCC Rules
  • Advanced Realtime (Prefixes, Root Pieces, Suffixes, Conflicts)
  • Intro to Captioning Format (Punctuation, I.D.s & Descriptors)
  • Understanding TV Programming and Production
  • Job Dictionary Development
  • Proper Show Preparation
  • Research and Reference Tools
  • How to Properly Edit (Post-Mortem)
  • Realtime Evaluation Form (REF) (SLIM)
  • Local News and National News
  • Writing exercises
  • Writing Assignments, Dictation, Dictionary Building + Test
Module 2 | Captioning… Your Brand New Career & One Topic Content Programming
  • Psychology of on-air captioning
  • Importance of Paraphrasing, Editing and Fingerspelling
  • How it’s going to LOOK
  • One topic – Weather, Financial Calls, Religious Programming
  • Dictionary Management – Main, Job and Court
  • D.O. – Detailed and Organized
  • Slang and Obscenities
  • Realtime Evaluation Form (REF) (SLIM)
  • Writing exercises
  • Writing Assignments, Dictation, Dictionary Building + Tes
              Module 3 | It’s All About Style! One Topic Content Continued
  • Acronyms
  • Proper number translation
  • Captioning Style Guidelines
  • Phonetics for Captioning
  • Caption Conventions and Parameters
  • Captioner’s Technical Support
  • Captioner Checklist
  • Receiving an Assignment
  • Fingerspelling, punctuation and alphabets
  • PBS, Food, Prescription Drugs
  • Writing Assignments, Dictation, Dictionary Building + Test
              Module 4 | Equipment, Music, and Sports
  • Hardware, Software, and Computer Peripherals
  • Equipment setup and Costs
  • Audio and Video Setups
  • Captioning music
  • Prescripting & sending captions line by line
  • Prepping for Sports
  • Golf, Basketball, Football and Baseball
  • Writing Assignments, Dictation, Dictionary Building + Test

Entry requirement:  Must be a proficient realtime writer with thorough knowledge of CAT software. Writer must have access to the internet, be a free member of RFO, subscribe to Realtime Coach for four months.

Each unit of the Caption Masters Series II is designed be to be completed at a self-paced speed over the course of one month.  The entire course can be successfully completed over 4 months.  

Week one of each month starts with a 2-hour lecture portion that is offered once during that week. During weeks 2 - 4, students will work on home study writing assignments at their own pace. They are required to turn in the writing assignment and Realtime Evaluation Form (REF) at the end of each week's assignment. Students are also encouraged to "check in" with the instructor at least once a week.

Unique to CMS II, the "home study portion" is incorporated into each program and reinforces the skills learned. Successful completion of each home study portion is completed with a score of 98.5% accuracy.

Cost: $1300 for 4 months; Continuing Education Units: 2.8 CEUs

The CMS II course is eligible for 2.8 CEU credits from the NCRA 
( .2 for each of the four two-hour lecture periods and 2 for the home study portion)

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