National Court Reporting Championship: Nation’s Top Stenographer’s Compete

\nAlthough the National Court Reporting Championship has been putting the speed and accuracy of the nation’s best stenographers to the test for over a century, the national media finally gave the event some much deserved attention at this year’s competition. The Wall Street Journal covered a story on the rivalry between Mark Kislingbury and Jo Bryce, as well as their very different typing styles using professional steno writers.\n\nMark Kislingbury is perhaps the most well-known court reporter in the country today. He holds the Guinness World Record for speed-writing by producing 360 words per minute with 97.22% accuracy. Lauded the “Michel Jordan” of court reporting, many onlookers predicted Mark would sweep the competition.\n\nJo Ann Bryce, on the other hand, favors a more traditional style of typing. Unlike Mark’s shortcut method, Jo Ann prefers to spell out every words phonetically – a style still used by most court reporters today. Having been a court reporter for more than 29 years, Jo Ann is no stranger to several accolades in her own right. Over the years, she has earned 4 national titles and came to this year’s competition hoping for a 5th.\n\nAs Kislingbury and Bryce joined about 3 dozen other stenographers in San Francisco to compete for this year’s coveted industry crown, everyone was anxious to see which method would come out on top. In the end, Bryce’s more traditional style won. She dominated the competition by taking home the gold in all five categories, scoring nearly 100% accuracy in the real-time category and typing 280 words per minute. A humble Bryce accepted her winning title to a standing ovation. Although Bryce proved her traditional style can stand the test of time, clearly her great hands and natural gift helped launch her into superstar status.\n\nAlthough Mark did not take home any titles this year, he stands by his method. He likens the traditional style of typing to “running a marathon with a backpack.” Bryce may have proved that even with a backpack, she can still win the race, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. After all, the paper-and-pen method once dominated the competition back in the early 1900s until the advent of the first typewriter. As the technology and ability of court reporters becomes more sophisticated, the possibilities for developing new methods and breaking records are endless. \n\n

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