The History Of Court Reporting Methods

Court reporting has come a long way since its first inception. Reporters now have more tools at their disposal. In the beginning they relied only on stenography machines. Now 21st century technology has been integrated into their work flow to make reporters far more efficient than they once were.

In the year 1913 the stenograph machine presented to the reporting world. This machine allowed reporters to press keys to create characters in code on scrolls of paper. Whenever a written transcript of the proceeding was needed the stenographer would transcribe the text to a document the receiving party could read. This combination of stenographic machine recording and typed transcripts became the new standard for court reporting.

In the 1970s going into the 1980s personal computers had become the latest and greatest emerging technology in the business world. Computer-aided transcription (CAT) was introduced which allowed computers to be integrated with stenographic machines. Keystrokes could then be recorded to the machine’s internal memory or removable storage device while also still implementing scrolling paper rolls. The saved record can then be translated by the computer. When written transcripts are needed the court reporter will edit the text and then make the finalized transcript available for distribution.

With more powerful computers available, capable of processing information at much faster speeds CAT systems are able to translate a digitized record while the record is being captured to the device. In this fashion the unedited text can be viewed right away. The court reporter can go ahead and make corrects to produce the final document.. This type of stenography is referred to as real-time stenography.

Some reporters also implement voice writing. With voice writing the court reporter speaks into a voice silencer, a hand-held mask with a microphone inside. The reporter repeats the testimony into the hand-held mask which then creates an audio record of the proceeding. None of the participants in the courtroom are able to hear any of this.

Analog recording technology has made it possible to capture and preserve spoken words to tape and other media. In the early 1960s tape recorders were being used in court proceedings. At the time magnetic tape was used heavily and it is still used by some courts today. Port St. Lucie court reporting is mainly is the case for proceedings were transcripts are not necessary. More recently video recordings are being done to capture proceedings. In order for audio and video to be captured the courtroom must be outfitted with the necessary equipment. This is operation of this equipment performed by those that work in the courthouse. If a transcript is needed then the audio is played back by a court reporter and transcribed to produce a written document.