Stenographer vs. Machine
\nWe live in an era of constantly evolving technology which has done wonders to simplify our lives, but at the same time can make us feel insecure or uncertain about what the future holds. Perhaps every steno writer at one time or another has felt intimidated by the chatter that their jobs will soon be replaced by new technology. Whenever you feel this uncertainty creep in, it’s important to remember this – humankind has one tool that can never be replaced by machine, and that is the discerning and creative mind.\n\nWhile a machine may be able to capture court proceedings for a fraction of the cost, the unique human ability to draw semantic conclusions and make inferences based on their observations and real-life experiences is irreplaceable. When it comes to matters of the law, it is absolutely imperative that every spoken word is captured and recorded correctly. In fact, there have been records of criminal cases in which the audio system failed to pick up on more than 10,000 inaudible and indiscernible entries. Had a human stenographer been in court that day, he or she would have known to interrupt proceedings to get every word uttered, regardless of the speaker’s tone, volume, or in the case of multiple people speaking at the same time.\n\nDespite chatter of an impending “doomsday” for the court reporting profession, the National Court Reporters Association recently claimed that the demand for court reporters is expected to grow 14% by 2020, making court reporting an extremely viable career opportunity for many years to come.\n\nWhile the future looks bright for court reporters, there are some crucial steps stenographers need to make to ensure this profession continues to grow. Joe Aurelio, contributor to the Journal of Court Reporting¸ offered some tips that every court reporter should read. Here is a quick summary of his outlook on the future of stenography.\n
How to Be Indispensable
- Real time: If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must be able to capture all the words spoken in real time. This is becoming the expectation of most judges and attorneys. If a stenographer can’t keep up with the demand, digital recording systems will become a much more appealing alternative. Although all certified court reporters must exceed 225-wpm, the reality is that many speakers talk faster than that. Luckily, everyone can achieve real time success with a little training. The NCRA indicates that most students can become proficient in real time in only three years.
- Accuracy: While digital recording devices certainly have their flaws, human error has its moments as well. The court reporting industry is much less forgiving of this than most other industries. If one of the primary advantages of a human reporter over a digital recording device is their ability to discern spoken word and even interrupt when necessary to ensure accuracy, the expectation is the transcription is close to 100% perfect. Not to mention, it is the court reporters job to incorporate the many marks of punctuation that allow readers to understand exactly what is being said and how it is being communicated in court – something a digital transcriber would not be able to notate with as much accuracy.
- Embrace Technology: While technology is the very thing many court reporters fear, the fact of the matter is that there is so much we can gain by embracing it. Modern steno writers and software helps us to perform transcription quicker and better. Another aspect of technology that is more often overlooked is the ways in which it is changing our daily vocabulary. Many steno writers have experienced an increased number of assignments that require them to write website addresses, email addresses, Twitter account addresses, etc. It’s important to continuously evolve your method by finding new steno strokes that work for the changing technical jargon.
\nTechnology is changing and it’s changing fast, but this does not mean that our beloved industry is in jeopardy of falling to the wayside. It does, however, mean that we need to take some measures of our own to secure its indispensability. Speed and accuracy are more important today than ever before. And perhaps once we learn to embrace technology to enhance our natural abilities, we will have a renewed appreciate and enthusiasm for our future careers.\n
Used Professional Steno Machines 1-800-323-4247
\nIf you’d like to speak with an expert from Stenograph, the industry leader in court reporting technology and supplies, please reach out at 1-800-323-4247 or fill our our online form to request more information. We are happy to answer your questions regarding financial options and recommendations before taking the next step in your court reporting career!\n
You May Also Be Interested In…
\nWhat to Consider Before Buying a Used Steno Machine\nNew vs. Used Steno Writers\nCAT Software for Court Reporters and Students \nTypes of Companies Looking for Court Reporters or Real-Time Captioners\nNational Court Reporting Championship – Nation’s Top Stenographers Compete