Misconceptions About Court Reporters: Facts, as Well as Myths, Debunked
If you’re a court reporter, you’ve invariably been asked one of three questions:
1. “How do you type so fast?”
2. “Are you scared Siri will steal your job?”
3. “Have you ever met a male court reporter?”
There are lots of myths about our profession, and also many facts absent from the public’s general knowledge. But those in the know understand that it’s a rewarding, diverse, ever-changing profession rooted in tradition and history. Want to know more about us? Here’s a wonderful start, from your favorite team at DLE Court Reporting:
We don’t all work in courtrooms. We’ve expanded our reach in business, at sporting events and concerts, as well as television studios. Our mobility ensures us work anywhere we can travel, but the digitization of our industry also allows us to work from the comfort of our own homes, teleconferencing in to important meetings or live seminars.
Only women are court reporters. Actually, the National Court Reporters Association statistics for 2016 list at least 12% of its 16,000 members as male. Certainly, it’s a female-dominated industry, but there’s room for change. In fact, the average age of court reporters is 53, which makes it seem like an older woman’s profession at first glance. However, the trend is shifting to a younger demographic, especially with the advances in job opportunities outside the traditional courtroom.
(Note: The world’s fastest courtroom transcriptionist is Mark Kislingbury, who once set a record-breaking 360 word per minute pace. They call him the Michael Jordan of court reporting! He’s gunning for 370 words per minute in the near future, so keep an eye out for him.)
Artificial Intelligence advancements mean the end of court reporters. Siri is a fabulous associate in traffic and on searches for the best pizza in your neighborhood – if she understands what you’re asking her. Voice to text software simply cannot replace the human presence of a skilled court reporter. Imagine the misreported words and confusion with overlapping conversation and statements.
It’s more than typing fast. How fast you type on your computer or text on your iPhone doesn’t mean you’ll be an excellent court reporter. A court reporter uses a special machine that makes recording words much easier in terms of keystrokes, as each key represents a sound rather than a letter.
Ever since 2006’s federal mandate requiring live captioning of all television broadcasts by a certified reporter, the need for court reporters has exploded into a variety of new occupations. No matter where a court reporter ends up, it’s important for her – or him! – to maintain a positive attitude, be able to keep confidential information private, be reliable and dependable, focus intently for long periods of time, and be able to keep their feelings to themselves no matter how amusing or frustrating the situation becomes!
For the best in the business, look no further than DLE Court Reporting. We’ve got the most professional, modern cache of court reporting professionals in the business.