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Regional daily health reporter goes ‘deaf for the day’

A regional daily reporter experienced what it was like to be deaf for a day for a feature to raise awareness about hearing problems.

Warren Manger, the health reporter at the Coventry Telegraph, decided to discover what it was like to be deaf after being contacted by the Coventry and Leamington Hearing Centre.

The experiment saw him have his ear canal flooded with a quick-setting solution which meant that he could only hear muffled noises, as though his head was underwater.

Warren, who is deaf in his left ear, then wrote about the challenges he faced while trying to work in a busy newsroom while his hearing was impaired.

He wrote that his journey back to the office had taken a little longer but was less challenging than he feared and he had managed to make a phonecall to the newsroom.

Warren wrote: “However, a reality check awaited me when I arrived at the office. A busy newsroom offers no sanctuary for the hearing impaired.

“For starters there were the cruel colleagues who delighted in mouthing wordlessly in my direction in an attempt to unsettle me.

“Then there was the small matter that whenever I focused on my computer screen, it became impossible to pick out specific sounds from the background babble.

“Several times I looked at my phone to spot a flashing red light alerting me to a missed message.

“At one point a heavy hand on my shoulder alerted me to the fact that I had been ignoring my web editor for the last five minutes.

“Though I made it through the day, it was a relief to rip the rubber cap from my ear and head home (not least because I had tickets to see Muse at the NEC).

“Of course, those living with hearing loss do not have that luxury.”

Warren also wrote about the impact of being deaf in one ear, saying it had little effect on his daily life, although he found it difficult to pinpoint where sounds come from.

His full piece can be read here.


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  • March 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

    It is proving very difficult to get tv and radio meeja people to understand how hard it is to hear speech against background music. My own bugbear is when sports presenters give a run-down of news and results against a background of thumping and strumming sounds. Don’t know how we can get them to try THAT for a day!

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  • March 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Blimey, my junior reporter did this feature exactly three years ago. It actually bored the pants off me and I thought never again….never thought to send the story to htfp either. What next from this mighty ground-breaking ideas factory? I know, get a reporter to dangle his/her feet in one of those waters tanks with ultra expensive skin-nibbling fish. Look forward to reading about it…

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  • March 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Can certainly see this spawning a whole new series. Simply get a reporter to mimic some sort of medical condition and see what is is like. The opportunies are endless.

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