In a press release yesterday, the National Court Reporters Association acknowledged that different markets are having different experiences when it comes to court reporter or stenographer shortage. NCRA President Jason Meadors is quoted as saying “Claims of a court reporter shortage are all too often a matter of geography and market. When courthouses pay and offer benefits competitively, they become fully staffed, and litigants are not faced with the choice of paying market rates to have the best system available or rely upon what the courthouse is willing to provide for keeping the record.”
The press release is concise and worth a read. It gets across some important ideas, such as stenography being modern, the gold standard, and acknowledges in its own way that economics plays a role in where court reporters are available. Very similar to the realizations I had when I saw that many reporters in New York City were working 30 years behind inflation while agencies were crying shortage.
This could not come at a better time. The courts in California just more or less declared that funding was not the issue, with some screenshots below. With our profession setting the stage to dispel the misinformation spread by the Speech-to-Text Institute, there’s a real chance at educating court administrators as to the controversy and issue (ultimately, if they want there to be court reporters, they have to stand behind us and help keep the demand steady. If they continue piecemeal replacement of us across the country, there will be fewer of us to hire. It’s an unfortunate elephant-in-the-room scenario. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.)
We’ve also passed a milestone here on Stenonymous. Many of the claims I’ve made and articles I’ve published are over a year old or rapidly approaching such, and the statute of limitations on defamation in my state is a year. The best defense of the corporate juggernauts against my claims of fraud was to ignore me. At the very least, I hope some of the things I did help many of you connect, educate, and advocate without fear. It really does appear to me that the corporate powers that be are milking the shortage for the purpose of selling digital reporting and the equipment associated. That’s not the easiest problem to deal with, but we are a strong profession, and we’re on the road to dealing with it.
I cannot claim to always agree with NCRA, but it remains a pillar of our profession and today I am very proud to be a member. Thank you to our president, Jason Meadors, for speaking up and speaking out.