In television shows and movies, court reporters are usually seen typing away, catching every word that anyone in the courtroom utters. However, Hollywood doesn’t always depict things as they actually are in real life, and the depiction of a court reporter on camera is no exception. Below is a little summary of what court reporters actually do; this is great information for anyone who is considering becoming a court reporter or who needs to hire one.
Hollywood does get one piece of the puzzle right when it comes to a court reporter’s duties. In regard to court reporters, when court is in session, they must type whatever the people say. For this reason, a court reporter needs to have speedy and accurate typing skills. However, most court reporters will not be using a standard keyboard or computer for typing. Instead, they are more likely to use a stenotype machine. Court reporters type in shorthand on these to get the words typed quickly. On the other and, court reporters who cannot type quickly might record court audio to type later.
Transcribing, or turning words into captions for television for the hearing impaired, is another one of a court reporter’s tasks. This job task is important for court reporters who are working on televised court cases. If the case is reporting live, the court reporter will need to type quickly, not in shorthand, so the audience can understand what is going on. Of course, it should be noted that not every court reporter will need to take on this task.
Editing might be the most important part of a court reporter’s job. After all, if their text isn’t accurate, it’s useless. This counts for both spelling and grammar. So, if the rough said something like providence court reporters, it would need to be changed to Providence court reporters, and so on.
There is much more to being a court reporter than Hollywood shows. Court reporters are essential employees for every courtroom, no matter how small. Do you have what it takes to become one?