I came across this gem of an advertisement. To keep things short it talks about attracting new court reporters to the profession by using digital recorders and broadening the language of deposition notices to include recording of depositions by “stenographic and other means”.
I pointed out in a prior post that Veritext had allegedly agreed not to cross the picket line in California and how great that was. I don’t take my words back. That was great. But if that was great, then this is awful. Stenographers need to take note: Their response to the court reporter shortage is to move to digitals. What’s the easiest way to stab someone in the back? Seem like you have their back.
It should be dreadfully clear that these corporate entities and sponsors are friends with us for as long as we’re useful to them. We have two very basic choices: Slave away for as long as we’re useful and let ourselves be replaced or start coming up with serious plans to revitalize steno education in the country and start grabbing up more market share. I don’t think it’s a very difficult decision, but I do think we’ve got some work cut out for us. We are seeing this over and over with some of our biggest brands turning to digital recorders.
And a final point. I was immediately met with someone telling me Veritext can’t be blamed, they are only doing what they must to cover their clients. To that I say: Sorry, wrong. They’re pouring money and time into making sure digitals get hired, creating interest in digital reporting, and ensuring deposition notices are tailored to allow digital reporting. They’re making a conscious choice to try to move market share away from stenographers, and that’s only forgivable when they stop doing that.
Some long-term things I think would be great and an open to help and suggestions for:
-Shortening stenographic education programs.
-Gathering and dispersing market data
-Organizing business classes to stenographers.
-Creating a network of stenographers to attend career days at schools.
-Creating a free dictation library or learning materials similar to Open Steno to assist schools.
-Funding any or all of these initiatives.
Looking forward to responses and ideas. Looking forward to growth of the industry. Looking forward to revealing that, stenographers, Veritext is not your friend.
*EDIT February 21, 2019:
Came across an article that states Veritext just four months prior was engaging with and presenting NCRA’s A to Z program, and in the interest of fairness that should be included here. We want more of that!