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4 Things You Didn't Know About Court Reporting

by Jamie Nichols

Court reporting is a field where those who enjoy transcription can thrive. Here are five facts you probably didn't know about the field. 

They're Involved In Court Cases

Most people think of court reporters as someone who is sitting on the side while taking notes. That's not entirely true. Court reporters have several duties in and outside of court, and they are responsible for clearing up unclear testimony. 

For instance, if a speaker won't speak up, the court reporter has the ability to request the speaker to repeat and clarify that information. 

On top of this, the court reporter must take a word-for-word transcript of everything that's said in the case. This has to be edited to perfection to be acceptable by the court, and it can be used to refer back to things that the prosecution or defense have said during the case. 

They're Not Just Typists

While typing is a major part of recording a person's testimony and following a case, that's not all a court reporter does. In fact, the reporter is in charge of all aspects of reporting. The reporter must record dialog with video, covered microphones, and other specialized equipment as well, whether that's audio or visual. After it's recorded, the court reporter must check the information for errors and manually edit everything; the final piece will be a perfect word-for-word report of what was said.

They Don't Only Work In Court

Do you enjoy watching TV with subtitles, or do you know someone who is hearing impaired who needs subtitles on popular movies? If so, you've seen the work of a court reporter. These reporters, while called court reporters, aren't always working in a court setting. They could be transcribing movies and television shows for the hard of hearing or working with real-time translation for public forums or classes requiring assistance for their hard-of-hearing classmates. 

Typing Isn't Always Required

Have you ever wondered how a show on TV has been translated in real time? That could be thanks for a steno-mask recording. A steno mask is a device that captures dialog and feeds it into computerized voice-recognition software. The software takes care of translating the text, and the court reporter will focus on editing the text to fix any errors that may crop up. 

These are just a few of the many things court reporters do. From busy court dates to translating popular movies, they're responsible for various translations you see used every day.