I’ve obtained a letter from Luke Casson of the Illinois Electronic Court Reporters Association and Anir Dutta from Stenograph. Along with these materials came some Speech-to-Text Institute materials.
Speech-to-Text Institute, as we know, is the nonprofit that lied when it said the court reporter shortage was irreversible. It used an outdated report to make its case, and its frontman, Jim Cudahy, left the field after I called him out on his fraud. STTI has several companies represented in its leadership, including The RecordXchange, Stenograph, Trans-Atlantic International Depositions, Planet Depos, Veritext, U.S. Legal Support, Neal R. Gross and Company, vTestify, Verbit, Kentuckiana, Tri-C Community College, RevolutionaryText, and For the Record. When I refer to the STTI Bloc, this is what I’m talking about. They used STTI to pump the market with misinformation, and as you’re about to see, they ride off those lies to push digital court reporting to policy makers and fellow court reporters.
If you look at those links above you’ll see that I’ve been on this since day 1. Court reporters can trust me to fight for them.
On that note, I think the best way to do this is to present each piece and then present my take on it. I’ll try not to nitpick too much and just bring out primary points.
I’ll be really fair here. He’s got a mission and he’s sticking to it, and that’s fair game. But I would say the idea that adding digital to the pool will not decrease the number of stenographer jobs is a lie. There is a total market. More of that market being covered by digital necessitates fewer available stenographic jobs. The idea that digital reporting is the preferred modality is also heavily in dispute. We literally call stenography the gold standard and even ChatGPT knows it.
For the STTI materials, it’s 100% certain to exacerbate because the STTI Bloc has used all of its money and influence to grow digital over steno while lying to court reporters and the public. The number of stenographers shrinking in Illinois is pulled straight from Ducker’s “70% will retire before 2033” statement. There is basically zero chance that the report, which is a decade old, reliably predicted the future with 100% accuracy. Fewer than 1 in 10 become court reporters. I’ll concede that we say this a lot, but has anybody run the actual numbers with any consistency, or is it kind of like Ducker where we got some information once and then trusted that forever and ever? I have the same issue with stating the number of stenography students. It completely discounts the self-taught — and I personally know self-taught court reporters. It’s all fluff to suit an agenda. I no longer feel bad about calling it what it is. Nobody from that side of the equation has ever defended their inexcusable antisocial behavior. They simply pretend I don’t exist, because my existence is inconvenient to their agenda.
Stenograph claims to have 80% market share, and then claims that at least 20,000 use their software. That would put the number of stenographers at at least 25,000. That means Stenograph knows for a fact that STTI was wrong, since there were only supposed to be 23,000 of us as of 2023. Again, the idea that this will add additional jobs is laughable, it will only move market share to digital, which Stenograph has positioned itself to profit from. They also lie about New York, where voice writing is not accepted for civil service positions. Neither is digital. Anir writes well, and I admire his ability to stick to a story. Perhaps seeing this in print will lead people to realize why I was so down on Stenograph as an entity, but not its employees or trainers. As a company, they’re not doing right by us. Everybody else is just caught in the crossfire of that. But the company relies on you being the bigger person and letting it go. “It’s just business,” they say, as they twist the knife just a few more times.
The math from my last ad report was very clear. Using my current media knowledge, we could probably reach/engage over a million people for about $30,000. I can’t lay that out by myself right now, but it should put into perspective why I keep asking for money. It makes a difference.
But as always, I leave it in the hands of my colleagues. Do we continue to wait and see what happens, or do we get serious about funding the only industry blog dedicated to purging corruption from the field? Regardless of the choice, reporters can count on me to continue being truthful.
And to give some good entertainment in the process.
2 thoughts on “Stenograph’s Attack on Stenographers in Illinois…”
It’s illegal to call yourself a “court reporter” in Illinois if you’re not an Illinois CSR. I wonder if the ILECRA (just threw up a bit in my mouth typing that acronym — waaaay too close to my beloved ILCRA acronym) could get got for using that misleading term.
I do not know. Judging by the lawsuit by the engineer in Oregon, I think it might be a stretch. But every case is different.