The Future of Court Reporting

January 15, 2020 12:35 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The job of the court reporter has always been to quickly and accurately transcribe a record of legal proceedings, no matter how many people are talking at the same time—or how fast—and swear to its accuracy to the best of the reporter’s knowledge. That’s a lot of pressure, and as technology advances, many people are wondering if we can do away with court reporters altogether. The short answer, is “not yet.” Despite the advances of real-time transcription and voice-to-text technology, tech is not interfering with court reporting careers in Phoenix, AZ.

Court reporting in the past

Court reporting has been around in some form since at least the 12th century, when a monk came up with a shorthand writing system. Four hundred years later, it became popular in England, and systems continued to develop over time. It wasn’t until the 1890s that stenography, as we would recognize it today, was developed. The stenograph machine was invented in 1877, and by 1963, computerized components were introduced into the industry.

Court reporting today and into the future

Today, there’s a hot debate as to whether it would be cheaper and easier to ditch court reporters in favor of speech-to-text technology. States like Utah have done away with court reporters to save an average of $1.3 million per year—but at what cost? Even if courts digitally record their trials and procedures, there still needs to be a human to help interpret the words—especially if one or more of the speakers uses a less common or hard-to-understand dialect. Proponents argue that it’s easier and cheaper, but opponents point out that having a written record is faster and easier to absorb. This is especially important when you rely on that written record for impeachment processes during trial.

Today there are three different branches of court reporting: stenography (which is the “traditional” form as we know it), voice writing (which converts speech to text) and digital court reporting (where a court reporter is assisted by multiple digital devices such as computers, recorders and microphones).

So, what’s the future of court reporting? Certainly we can expect to see that digital court reporting will gain even more precedence in the future, thanks to its ability to marry technology and the human touch. After all, until tech devices are able to tell people to slow down and speak one at a time, even the most advanced equipment can’t handle people speaking over each other.

Court reporting careers in Phoenix, AZ

Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC has been launching court reporting careers in Phoenix, AZ since 1972. Our skilled and professional court reporters can meet all your legal reporting needs, from video depositions and video conferencing to traditional court reporting at trials and depositions. Our goal is to provide highly accurate and clear transcripts that provide a precise record and make an attorney’s job easier. If you’re looking to begin your court reporting career—or just hire a highly-trained court reporter for your own case—get in touch with us today.

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