Frequently Asked Questions About Court Reporters





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Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions About Court Reporters

How do steno-machines work?

Credit: Del Mar College

Stenographs are small machines that reporters use to record what is said as it is being said during a deposition or in a courtroom. The keyboard is similar in looks to a laptop or typewriter, but to maximize typing speeds, the machines are built phonetically instead of by letter. To record what was said correctly, court reporters must press more than one key at the same time to ensure proper pronunciation is noted for forming a transcript.

How many words can court reporters type per minute?

In order to become a certified court reporter, reporters must have a typing speed of around 200 words per minute, and an overall accuracy rate of 97.5%.

How do court reporters become certified?

Credit: AppearMe

Court reporters must attend and receive a certification of completion from a state-recognized court reporting school. After that, they must pass a state examination to receive their Certified Shorthand Reporter Licence. Court reporters must be licensed by the state they plan to work in. Though not necessary to work, many court reporters go on to achieve additional certifications from the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA).

Will court reporters be replaced by recording devices?

Recording devices have been around since the late 1800s, but they have not overtaken humans in the court room. Court reporters can properly record what was said, how it was said, and distinguish between accents. Court reporters also format the proceedings in digital and text format, making the transcript more easily accessible, whereas recording devices are unable to record this. 

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