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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve tried to anticipate the most likely questions potential listeners will have about the service here; if you don’t find the answer to your question, please use the contact page to ask directly.

General Questions

What is Witney Talking News?

Witney Talking News is a registered charity formed in 1979 to provide access to local news for the visually impaired people of West Oxfordshire in audio format. For more information see the about us page.

What does the service cost?

Nothing. The service is provided absolutely free-of-charge. This can only be done because the Royal Mail permits “articles for the blind” to be posted with no charge. All running costs are met through donations from listeners and others.

What do I get?

Every week (except Easter and Christmas) you will receive a USB stick with approximately 1 hour of news, notices, a quiz, a reflection piece and editor’s article. Approximately twice a year, you will receive a magazine edition containing a more varied editorial.

Editorial/Content Questions

What is included in an edition?

  • Local News
  • Sport
  • Quiz
  • Notice board (local events, listeners’ birthdays, deaths etc)
  • Editor’s article drawn from a publication of their choice
  • Reflection spot

What is a “Reflection”?

The reflection is a 5 minute slot at the mid-point of each edition and offers a pause for thought. In many ways it is akin to “Thought for the Day” from BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme. The contributors include local clergy, lay people, local dignitaries and a variety of special guests. Recently the slot has featured talks from Age UK and Citizens Advice discussing energy prices, consumer rights, winter safety and also a series of three mini lectures from Dr Marco Bellini from the Clinical Ophthalmology Research Group at Oxford University.

WTN is always keen to expand its pool of contributors and any suggestions may be sent via the contact page.

What is a magazine edition?

Magazines offer a chance to deliver alternative non-news content based on a theme such as animals, seasons, Christmas, anniversaries, WW1&2. They feature original pieces of work devised and put together by our volunteers and have included feature interviews with well known people; poet Pam Ayres has featured twice as has David Cameron (once in opposition and once as Prime Minister) and the wartime magazine (which can be found on a CD in Witney library) features many local memories of both world wars. Many listeners look forward to these as something a little different to the news.

Technical Questions

How do I play the USB stick?

Every user is provided with a free-of-charge easy to use playback unit designed specifically for visually impaired people. WTN will send a DBS cleared volunteer to visit you at your convenience to deliver and demonstrate it and replace it if it’s faulty. The unit should be returned if at any time you wish to discontinue receiving the service.

Can I play it any other way?

You can play it on any device which will play mp3 files. This would include your computer, some newer talking book players and some home entertainment systems. Whilst several listeners use their own equipment, support cannot be offered technical support for this.  Only the supplied unit can be supported.

Can I play editions on-line? / Can I download them?

Yes you can.  The service is offered online, by email, as a podcast and, for those who qualify, via the British Wireless for the Blind Fund’s Talking Newspapers app and on their Bumblebee smartphone.  For more details see the pages linked below:

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