Can a Taped Recording Really Rival What a Court Reporter Does?

Are you a court reporter or looking to potentially become a certified court reporter?


The judicial system has relied on the services of court reporters for years. A court reporter’s job is to take down what is happening in court and type out and take down all of the actions and statements and eventsof the court case.


For a while, some reporters worried that they may get supplemented or even replaced by tape-recording technology. Even though the judicial system did go wild for the idea of taped recordings for some time, that affair is quickly fading.


The judicial system requires for transcription a high level of accuracy that is uncompromising and can only be provided by a flesh and blood recorder– and all thanks to a number of factors.


The judicial system vastly benefits from a reporter’s skill set that yields transcripts that have a high level of accuracy that reporters can deliver. That’s something that machines or technology can’t always do.


Today we’re talking about taped recordings and why essentially they will never be in competition with human court reporters when it comes to being in demand.

Can a Taped Recording Really Rival What a Court Reporter Does?

Do you remember when taped recordings first came on the scene? When they first rolled out this technology, it generated a bit of excitement– mostly at the ability to potentially help record court events efficiently.


It was a nice dream, but dreams are not always competition for reality. Taped recordings in the end were found to be incomparable to a real reporter present in the court room. So why was that?


Court reporters were found to be more accurate, faster, and make less errors than taped recordings. They were also more cost effective and easier on the budget. They also were not prone to ‘break down’ or need repairs– no technical problems with a real person on the job!


Important cases also relied on reporters over tapes, and would demand human court reporters if they needed to get daily transcripts. To this day, court reporters provide translation of what is happening in real time– and can ask parties to speak up or clarify or even repeat a point in order to get it down (something a machine as of yet is not able to do, reducing accuracy as well as reliability).


Recordings actually take a long time to process, but with court reporting done in real time, you can have a transcript pretty quickly. It’s beneficial to both courts and attorneys as well as reporters– courts get less errors, reporters get jobs, and attorneys can search through an immediately-available transcript of the day’s events.


Recordings also posed a problem in that they were transcribed, but by typists who had not been present. So they could only transcribe what it was that they thought they heard, as they were not there and cannot draw from their memory. As a result, accuracy levels were impacted.


To this day, certified court reporters are preferred and an integral part of the judicial system, which could not and to this day has not been able to function reliably without them.

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