Readback, the company most known for declaring it’s going to do away with steno and making bogus claims, is on the hunt for a reporter in charge in California.
I cannot think of a company that has made it more clear that they hate stenographers, and stenographers would do well to lock them out of the California market’s whole licensing scam by just not working for them. It’s very simple. The data we have today is that stenography is more accurate. They effectively advertised wanting to be less accurate. In a field that’s all about accuracy, consumers and court reporters are going to run the other way. As for this game of “oh, your poor joints…” Maybe we were gullible enough as an industry to believe such a thing half a decade ago, but not now.
One has to wonder if the business types have taken notice that we are allegedly on our way out and have this massive retirement cliff, but we are able to organize, get legislatures to act on our behalf, and just generally be a pain in the ass of anybody that wants to eliminate positions for our students. It’s almost as if the data they were relying on is wrong. I wonder who could have predicted that?
Perhaps this message goes beyond the businesses and meets us directly. We have value for as long as accurate court records have value. A major part of the game is learning and pricing that value. Another part of the game is communicating the value of accuracy in a way that only we really can. A third piece is realizing that organization constitutes part of our value. The more we are able to organize and fund associations or entities that will advertise and advocate for the profession, the more collective benefit we pull.
One thing is clear: Stenographers will not let the shortage be the scapegoat for our replacement. Readback, what’s your next move?