Court Reporting: Stenography & Technology

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Technology has taken every sector, including the justice system, by storm. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find computers and other technological devices doing the work of a certified court reporter. If you are currently working as a stenographer, you may have noticed these devices popping up in courtrooms across the country.


One of the reasons for these changes is to cut down on costs. As you probably know, hiring a real-time court reporter costs much more than using a machine in the courtroom. However, each side has its upsides and downsides., and the lack of dependence on technological devices is too telling. 


Court reporters remain among the most important part of the justice system. Even with the mini-evolution taking effect in our courtrooms, opportunities for court reporters remain intact. 


So, if you are considering following this career path or you are already in it, you should rest assured your job will not be replaced by machines anytime soon.


As much as technology is beneficial in today’s world, it may not be time for the court system to make a move. Although machines can be accurate with quality audio and video recordings, they are not foolproof. Nothing beats the precision and consistency of a real-life court reporter or stenographer.


Unlike a computer, a certified court reporter is able to clarify information and record it in the right context. In any case, stenographers are highly trained to do their jobs with little to no mistakes. They are taught to be consistent when recording and delivering court reports.


Professional stenographers and court reporters have been around since time immemorial. They play a special role in ensuring court sessions run smoothly and all parties involved receive a fair trial. Although machines and tools have evolved over the years, we still cannot depend on them solely to record court proceedings. These new machines cannot take down what has happened in a court that requires human interpretation.


No doubt, audio and video recording reduce the amount of work court reporters have to do. This might seem like a threat to their work, but there is no real cause of concern since technology cannot replace human reporters anytime soon.


While some states are embracing the use of technology, others are swapping out technology for people. Then again, the costs of buying and maintaining these devices, along with transferring hidden costs to attorneys and clients, and the cost of transcription copies, may just be as much or as higher as hiring a real time court reporter.


The financial implications of migrating from real time stenographers to the use of technology may take a toll on the sustainability of the court system. Considering this, it is becoming more unlikely that stenographers and certified court reporters will become extinct like the dodo.


It is therefore safe to say, court reporters are here to stay. In any case, the courts still need them as they are the only ones more than competent to do the job.

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