I was sent this by a contact over social media. It’s labeled as an advertorial. And that alone gives us enough to pick it apart and figure out what it’s selling. It’s written by Christy Pratt, VP of Veritext Canada.
It goes a little into the history of reporting to give the rest of the piece some credibility. I have no problem with that. But then it gets to its main sell: The shortage is real and times are changing! Hey everybody! Did you know times change? You can trust the rest of the advertorial because the author is making perfect sense up to this point.
Remember, this is posted to Trial Lawyers of BC. It’s clear who the audience is. They don’t want lawyers to complain about the transition from steno to digital, where the author admits steno is still in heavy use. They want to paint digital as the solution. It’s much easier to tell someone what they want is not available instead of telling them you don’t want to give it to them. It’s a lie to limit consumer choice.
It’s worth noting that the shortage isn’t as bad as it was forecasted to be in America and that the Speech-to-Text Institute’s Jim Cudahy left the field when I accused him of fraud for spreading court reporter shortage disinformation. It’s also worth noting that Veritext is represented in the Speech-to-Text Institute’s leadership by Adam Friend, VP of business development, and has not made any attempt to correct the misleading information put out onto the market by STTI. Misleading information that threatens the futures of ourselves and our students, by the way. Does anyone believe that Veritext, a multimillion dollar corporation that benefits financially from the expansion of digital, would not spread the same lies in Canada?
I’ve had people lie to me over $5. When the future direction of an industry is at stake, does anyone believe this isn’t fabricated? And I’m sure I have a detractor or two who would point at me and say the same, but let’s be real, in my wildest dreams Stenonymous makes me maybe a million dollars someday because some rich person realizes how much fun it would be to set me loose on the world or Veritext realizes my creative genius can be bought (in reality, I lose money on my media activities, even with the support of my wonderful audience.) This industry is close to $3 billion annually by estimates I’ve seen. Who has a greater incentive to lie? And it’s not like they can claim they don’t know about my research now. They’re basically using my arguments on AI to make the case for why court reporters won’t be replaced. I’ve basically never had better proof that Veritext execs read the blog and understand at least part of my work.
To make matters worse, a source inside a big box is saying the nickel and diming of stenographers is getting worse despite the alleged demand. If they’re chipping away at the incomes of high-end realtime reporters, the average reporter isn’t going to stand a chance.
Reporters, organize and resist or be ruled by people that don’t care if you have a good life. That’s all there is to it. I know my methods come off as extreme, but it’s an extraordinary case where an entire profession is threatened with extinction based on a lie. It’s a classic what-would-you-do scenario, and I’d like to think that if every reporter had the same statistics and information that I have seen and published, they’d be just as outraged. They’d fight just as hard, and maybe harder.
I’ll continue my quest to slay the windmills. Wish me luck.