Mythbusting Court Reporting

When you’re asked what your profession is and you respond that you’re a court reporter, what do people say? They might be surprised to know that you work outside the legal field or that court reporting is actually a growing industry for those that are focused and detail-oriented. Instead of being frustrated at people asking questions, think of it as an exercise in mythbusting court reporting and share your knowledge. 

Myth #1 Court reporters only have jobs in the legal field.

About a year ago I started working with court reporters to help them get the word out that there are jobs outside the courtroom where they can utilize their skills and expertise.

While reporters are needed for depositions and court proceedings, I was pleasantly surprised to learn they’re also needed for professional sports, political events, webinars, seminars, community meetings….you name an event with live speakers and there’s a chance someone is close captioning the event. That person is a real-time court reporter. MYTH BUSTED 

Myth #2 Court reporters are stuck in court all day, every day. 

There are court reporters who work full-time for municipalities but more often than not, proceedings are recorded for a freelance reporter to transcribe after the fact.

Much of what court reporters do takes place outside the courtroom. They record via stenograph and then set to the task of transcribing to create a final transcript. It’s time consuming, focused work. It’s especially challenging if the witness or attorneys involved aren’t speaking clearly or speaking over each other. Even for the reporters who are full-time at the courts, they are working outside to create the transcripts. MYTH BUSTED

Myth #3 Court reporting is a dying profession because of digital recording. 

If you’ve searched social media groups related to court reporting, you will see quite a few posts from prospective court reporters asking about the impact of digital recording on the industry.

The reality is that while some proceedings are recorded, the technology isn’t good enough to replace court reporters. In fact, the reason recordings are implemented is often because there simply aren’t enough court reporters. In Illinois, there is expected to be a shortage of more than 250 reporters in the next year. [Source]

For more on the court reporter shortage, check out our article Is the Court Reporter Shortage Real News where we explore the impact of the shortage on the industry. 

When it comes to facts and myths about court reporting, these are the ones we’re asked most. If you’ve got more questions about a career in court reporting, we’re here with answers. If you’re seeking a court reporter for an upcoming case or project, give us a call to schedule.

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