What is Real-Time Reporting?

\n\nReal-time is the instant translation of speech to text. It is considered by many to be the pinnacle of both speed and accuracy in the court reporting world. A decade ago, real-time was something a stenographer would hope to achieve one day. Today, many insist that real-time is an essential skill for a sustainable career in court reporting, CART captioning and/or broadcast captioning. While the road to achieving real-time can be both frustrating and rewarding, it will ultimately open new doors to higher paying jobs, better opportunities and greater work satisfaction. \n\n

Why Should I Learn Real-time?

\nOver the past decade, the need for real-time writers has grown. The FCC now requires all broadcast television providers to offer captioning services, leading to a growing demand for real-time captionist. The need for CART reporters is also on the rise due to an act requiring specialized services, such as CART, to be made available at all public schools across the country. Thanks to advancements in stenographic technology, real-time also plays an essential role in the justice system. Many attorneys and judges request the ability to review courtroom proceedings in real-time as well as send and share transcripts within seconds. This has become a vital tool for challenging questionable testimony and tracking multiple issues with the case. \n\n

How Can I Achieve Real-time?

\nThe National Court Reporter Association (NCRA) offers a Certified Real-time Reporter (CPR) certification. Those who receive their CPR have proven their ability to use a stenotype in real-time with the CAT method. The assessment tests students on their ability to set up the equipment, complete a five-minute real-time transcription in at least 180 wpm, and convert the transcribed text to an ASCII text file. Those who have already obtained the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and are a good standing member of the NCRA are eligible to test for their CPR.\n\nGetting to a place where you are “real-time ready” does not come overnight. It requires a great deal of patience and practice. Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s never too late to begin working towards the goal of real-time. Professionals in the field recommend tracking your progress by taking notes in the corner of your job sheet when you notice areas that could be improved upon, and be sure to always track your progress. Chances are, you’ll need to make some adjustment to your writing style. Writing shorter and using briefs can improve your speed. And all real-time stenographers will agree – it’s essential to continuously work on dictionary maintenance. \n\n

Real-time Technology and Software

\nThe “superstars” of court reporting did not gain their status without embracing and applying the latest technologies in an effort to perfect their shorthand skills. Today’s software is so sophisticated, it would be impossible to achieve the levels of speed and accuracy expected from a real-time writer without it. Some of the essential tools used today include:\n


  • CAT Software: You’ll need a CAT system with the capability of real-time translation. CAT software is loaded onto a laptop and then connected to your steno machine. The specialized computer-aided transcription allows steno writers to transcribe shorthand with greater efficiency.
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  • CaseViewNet: This technology delivers text screens through Internet streaming within a few seconds of the words being spoken. It can be used to display the real-time transcription on a large screen for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, or on a computer for attorneys who need to view the proceedings when an expert witness or team member is participating remotely.
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  • iCVNet (app for iPad): The most successful stenographers are the ones who embrace technology, providing the most current and technologically advanced services. The iCVNet is a free iPad app that provides instant viewing of a real-time deposition on an iPad. Attorneys can then connect to a reporter’s secure Wi-Fi network to receive, review, mark, search and email the transcript on their iPad.
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Learn More

\nTo learn more about the equipment and software required to achieve real-time success, talk to the experts at Stenograph, the leading supplier of productivity tools for the court reporting profession 1-800-323-4247.