Song: I’m in Love with the Court Reporter

Funniest song you’ll hear all day, sent to me by a friend and mentor. I later learned it was also posted by the best union president I know.

This is for all the court reporters that have been asked out by somebody on your case. I have to highly recommend it for the laughs and the surprise twist at the end. I find this very creative. Good delivery.

I’m In Love with the Court Reporter by alanmessing YouTube channel.

I’m planning to start a monthly media blast where we all share the different things we’re watching/listening to related to the field. So keep eyes out for that at the beginning of March. Enjoy!


I was sent this song by a reader. It’s from Stenoholics!!! A must listen!

Finally, Another Song About Stenography

After I was given permission to mirror Andy Bajaña’s song, things dried up for a while on my end. I’m pleased to announce a new stenographer song by Anonymous, commissioned by

The song’s available for download at $1.00. The song’s already free on YouTube and easy to share, but I know there will be those of you that want the wav file or to show support.

It’s thanks to this community that I’m able to do things like this. It’s like I keep saying, more resources give me more power to advance our interests.

Perhaps that makes it a good time to lay out some of my long-term goals. I’d like to grow big enough to begin to centralize our stenographic media, get some of our best influencers on a payroll or contract basis, and really begin extending our reach using several different entertainment styles. It’ll take me a long while to do it alone. Not so with the help of my fellow court reporters.

Regardless of what you think of that plan, enjoy the song, and have a great day!

Veritext Seeking Videos to Promote Steno

Veritext announced that it is accepting videos promoting steno. Film a video of yourself with your machine and say “I am a court reporter.” Sample ideas are available.

Veritext calls for videos to promote steno

The “get started” button leads here.

I don’t want to be too disparaging. One of my primary gripes has been the very lopsided promotion of digital, and if they’re doing something positive for us, it should go forward. No doubt, good job, Veritext. Thanks for spending the time and money to do this. I mean that.

I must remind reporters, though, that this is a clear indication that the Speech-to-Text Institute, associated with Veritext’s Adam Friend, lied when it said the stenographer shortage was impossible to solve. If our shortage was impossible to solve, Veritext would have zero incentive to continue to attract anyone to the field. It would, in fact, be heartless to lure people into a dying field. This supports my claim that our field is not dying, and that any decline is reversible. The numbers support this to the extent they exist.

I am ecstatic that Veritext is doing something positive. It doesn’t really negate the fact that they have been advertising for digital reporters on LinkedIn for over a year that I’ve been monitoring it. That means every day spamming jobseekers with digital, digital, digital. So to make a video and release that and share it is nice, but it’s not quite the same impact on the market in my estimation. Maybe I will be wrong. Hopefully I will be wrong. Advertising stenography now gives us the people we’ll need later. Timing and enthusiasm matters. And the timing of this is a little odd. We’re being deleted in Indiana. Has Veritext made a comment to the court about that like many of us have?

If I were Veritext, I’d claim that this video initiative helped solve the shortage and throw Cudahy’s math under the bus. It’d be a smart move for them. They get to be the heroes and cast doubt on Stenonymous in one swift move.

I’ll be submitting a video. I encourage others to if they have the time. While I am suspicious of Veritext’s motives at the top of their corporate structure, most of the people that work below them are going to be decent people. When I submitted something to their reporter corner years ago, it got featured. This is to say I don’t believe videos will be misused in any way. I really believe they’ll do exactly what they’re proposing to do here, and I think it’ll be great.

I just hope there’s more, and that this is not a one-off before they return to burying us.

Propaganda Guide for the Smart Steno Consumer

For those of you that haven’t read up on propaganda and persuasion techniques, you still probably won’t be too surprised to know that leaders, corporations, and all manner of people try to exert control. This usually isn’t done by direct threat or force, but by persuasion. Advertising, to some extent, can be propaganda. Networks of influencers are the modern machine that keep people scrolling. There are innumerable ways that forces we don’t even think about are trying to get in our heads. I confess that I, too, use some of the techniques I’m about to talk about. But that’s the point, if the consumer is aware, then they can make better choices. I am going to be stepping up my media game this year. You’ve all got to be ready.

Types of Propaganda:

Bandwagon Propaganda.

As humans we generally have a desire or drive to fit in. We’re interested in what’s trending for these reasons. When someone is trying to convince you that everyone else is doing it, they might be propagandizing you. In court reporting this is fairly common, software vendors will try to convince you to get on the new thing because everyone is getting on the new thing, but really they just need you buying equipment to feed the economic engines.

Card Stacking Propaganda.

This is about mentioning the positives without the negatives. Stacking all those positive cards on top of each other so that you don’t look at the negatives underneath. To be fair, this is actually a presentation technique and life tip, and I use it often, so I can’t knock it.

Plain Folk Propaganda.

This form of propaganda deals with displaying regular, relatable people and faces in advertising. It can kind of tie into the idea that “normal people” use a product or service being pitched.

Testimonial Propaganda.

This is about getting popular or famous people to pitch a product or service and is viewed as the opposite of plain folk propaganda. This tries to display people you look up to using a product or service so that you use it too.

Glittering Generality Propaganda.

This is when they use corporate speak that doesn’t really mean anything. Things like “we’ll be there for you” or “on your side.” Things that make you feel good, but don’t really convey a message or promise.

Name Calling Propaganda.

This is pretty rare in the corporate world, which is why I use it. This is exactly what it sounds like. Characterizing people. Calling people names. A fraud, a fake, a liar. It’s nasty stuff. I think my first use of this was when I called Frank N Sense a monster. Still kind of a monster. They posted that the NCRA board should resign. I honestly can’t agree. The NCRA board has the profession’s best interests at heart. Everybody has to follow through with what they know and believe in their hearts. It’s going to be just a little different for each of us. But I think they’re doing a damn good job this year and last. But anyway, name calling, yeah.

Transfer Propaganda.

This is when the propagandist uses something they believe will resonate with you in their messaging. Things like using a person’s religion to sell them things, or as I’ve said from our field, the “democratization of technology.” Most people like democracy, right? Transfer propaganda! If they’re using a vague concept related to something you love, it might be a flag.

Ad Nauseam Propaganda.

This is about messaging. Constant messaging so that you remember the brand. When I’m feeling healthy, I’m a little guilty of this, because I can write a lot more.

Stereotyping & Appeal to Prejudice Propaganda.

This is a big one. Pretty much every major player on the field is using this one against court reporters right now. We all have certain beliefs about digital reporters. We saw it when Verbit called them low skill. We see it when it’s used as a motivator to get people engaging with associations. We see corporations using it to eradicate us, pretending we’re obsolete because that’s our stereotype. The bottom line is that these players understand you. They understand how you think and what you like and don’t like. They understand how you feel about yourself. They’re going to be thinking about how to extract more money from you using that information. This was also effectively used to divide reporters, because for the last decade we were all on this “realtime is the future, everyone must tech up” drive, getting down on people who didn’t play the tech consumer game, and then when everybody sold enough equipment and training there, they packed up and went digital. This is why I have identified group think as dangerous to the profession. If they know us too well, they can manipulate more dollars out of us without giving us enough benefit.

Appeal to Fear Propaganda.

This is about using fear to get people to do things. It can be a product meant to alleviate a fear built up through advertising or it can be, in my opinion, putting you in a position of fear. On the topic of fear build up through advertising, Stenograph did this when it did its keyless drive. Gotta go keyless! Gotta buy the next thing! Gotta buy the new machine! We can all respect making money, but at a certain point, it’s just unnecessary oversaturation of the market. In terms of putting you in a position of fear, companies are doing it right now every day. They’re showing that they’re resolved to expand and switch to digital. They’re pressuring reporters to go digital, and conveniently buy their training and equipment. I think I’ve said this before, but if someone is scaring you, you might be getting propagandized.

Now You Know

When you start looking for these things, you will find them. We will all, one time or another, fall victim to propaganda. Sometimes it’s for a cause we really believe in. Sometimes it’s something we don’t really need in our lives. Sometimes it is the more comforting thing to allow ourselves to be propagandized.

Now, I should clarify, when I use these techniques, I do so for advancing truth and knowledge. All I have documented has been my honest perspective and recording. But in the end, people read and donate because it’s interesting, not because it’s honest. So if you catch me using some media tricks, it’s about keeping it interesting.

I’ve got some ideas in the oven! Get all your friends subscribed!

NCRA Town Hall: A to Z, Public & Government Relations

I attended the National Court Reporters Association Town Hall today with President Jason Meadors, and boy, am I glad I did. It gave me confidence that the association and its leaders are pushing hard to represent the interests of members. The entire session was almost exactly an hour, so there’s a lot to unpack.

Present at the meeting were, as stated, NCRA President Jason Meadors, Executive Director Dave Wenhold, Max Curry, a Past President and Chair of the A to Z committee, Annemarie Roketenetz, Director of Communications & PR, and Jocelynn Moore, Director of Government Relations. The meeting started off with a lengthy discussion from Max Curry about the A to Z program, and he took the time to explain where the program started and how it was completely revamped. According to Mr. Curry, A to Z began with about 50 boots-on-the-ground programs in the states. That fell away when the pandemic happened, and most programs closed. Programs in Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, and California all went remote, which showed that the program could be done remotely. A new vision has come into place where the program can be done remotely and all of the resources can be centralized behind the program, with fewer boots-on-the-ground programs. Eight programs will be done a year, four asynchronous and four live. This is to capture the different kinds of learners — ones that can learn on their own AND people that need interactivity to succeed.

One of the truly exciting plans was for a landing page that can be centralized that brings people back to A to Z. NCRA is planning to reach out to organizations and associations to have them host a button or link to the landing page, creating a spiderweb or net that helps catch all the people that might be interested in this wonderful career and bring them back to the NCRA’s A to Z to give steno a try. They may ask firms to donate $5 to $10 of their Search Engine Optimization budget to help bring people to the landing page. NCRA President-Elect Kristin Anderson’s Houston President’s Party will act as a fundraiser for SEO dollars to ramp up advertising about court reporting and captioning as careers.

Lisa Dennison also spoke and informed us that 15 A to Z scholarships were given out at $750 per award. NCRA interacted with ASCA, the American School Counselor Association, getting school counselors’ contact information, adding them to a contact list, and getting them information about court reporting. It was mentioned that the communications team has been working on Instagram, QR Codes, and other ways to spread the message. Reliance donated money for student memberships for previous A to Z graduates, which helped grow association membership as well.

It was mentioned that NCRA continues to work with vendors such as Advantage, ProCAT, and Stenograph. The StenoCAT iPad app, iStenoPad, was also described as a way to simplify the logistics of getting stenotypes to participants.

It was explained that last year 295 students were picked up by A to Z. Max Curry clarified that some local programs do not coordinate with headquarters, so numbers from those programs are unavailable. Ms. Dennison asked that participant lists be sent to the NCRA so that better data can be compiled.

A quote by Brianna Coppola was shared. “I have never seen or heard of another ‘career test drive’ course. It really spotlights the encouragement within the community of reporters and their love for their jobs and dedication to the field.”

Dineen Squillante asked about the possibility of reaching out to departments of labor in each state. Lisa Dennison responded that it was something that could be looked into.

2022 Program Leaders and Speakers were thanked. It’s an extensive list, and I feel they deserve the recognition.

Ms. Dennison made it clear that the door was open to anyone that wanted to reach out on A to Z.

Annemarie Roketenetz talked a little bit about plants for Court Reporting & Captioning week, and a lot about the many endeavors of NCRA. She also mentioned that a number of press releases would be made, leading up to a larger press release that will link back to all the smaller ones. This is in line with dispatching our news and events regularly, and a very smart move on NCRA’s part. Several events were mentioned. Review the Town Hall recording at the Learning Center for more, I cannot do it justice in print. Our PR and communications are in good hands.

Mr. Meadors noted that Legislative Bootcamp has been called a “money grab.” He stated NCRA does not make money on bootcamp and reiterated what an important program it really is.

Jocelynn Moore expounded on bootcamp, explaining that it is extremely immersive training on how to be effective grassroots lobbyists. She stated that the training is “going to give you all of the tools necessary to go in front of a legislator, oppose legislation that doesn’t agree with the profession, or advocate for a bill coming through. Some of the topics covered will be “politics 101,” how associations work, and how you can mobilize with other members in your state to move forward on a particular issue.

The Training for Realtime Writers Act was mentioned. It was also mentioned that it will be difficult to reintroduce this under a Congress attempting to cut spending. More information will be provided on that at bootcamp, but also more on the situation from Indiana. Participants will learn how to advocate in front of different parties and teach members to speak to legislators, because legislators do not always have all of the information we have about our field.

Ms. Moore continued on to talk about the Indiana issue. The proposed prohibition of stenographers from Indiana courts was revealed. We learned that NCRA began a grassroots campaign to find out what happened and why the proposed change was introduced. The organization has found difficulty getting information about the change, but finds the language to be discriminatory and mandatory, robbing judges of their discretion and forcing them not to use a stenographer.

It was a packed hour. My only criticism of the event would be that they ran out of time for questions. But you know what? It happens. President Meadors directed that efforts should be made to record questions asked and that efforts would be made to have them answered. Everything wrapped up with Dave Wenhold thanking the participants for coming out on a Saturday. He said that if you get any information on Indiana, you can pass it to him or Ms. Moore. President Meadors noted that just showing up and asking questions meant participants were dedicated to the profession. The meeting subsequently came to a close.

Refinement of the programs we have is going to seize the day here. Leadership is doing something very impressive. My opinion may not count for much, but I’d thank each of them for the hard work that they do and continuing to fight for this profession. It’s inspiring, and I hope reading a little about it has inspired all of you.

The Learning Center can be used to locate and view past Town Halls.

Justice for Craig Saunders Seeks Court Reporter Experts

Recently I was contacted by a LinkedIn profile named Craig Saunders. This led to contact from, which redirects here. As I understand it, Mr. Saunders and/or people seeking justice on his behalf are saying that there are different versions of the same transcript, all with variations among them. He’s seeking to answer several questions. Some of the questions, like how to prove something, are really meant for a lawyer. But some of the questions do seem answerable by court reporters.

Full disclosure, I think he’s trying to say the court reporter did wrong here, but then that’s sort of why I was interested to begin with, because my expert opinion very well may have been everything made sense. I don’t know. I haven’t reviewed the materials. But honestly, not all court reporter mistakes are malicious, and sometimes litigants truly believe that they are. It’s a risk that comes with the job. I know I could be called to testify about any transcript I put out. Will it ever happen?

Anyway, based on the representation that it would be about 200 pages of review/work, I put forward an estimate of $500, a deposit of $250, and basically said I’d only look at the stuff after I got a deposit. Also said if I thought I couldn’t answer the questions after a cursory glance I’d let him know and refund the money. Didn’t discuss anything about travel in the event of testifying. At this time, they’re not going to use my services. But they did ask me to share this with my court reporter audience to see if anybody might put together a better proposal.

So if you’re interested in answering some of these questions, feel free to contact Be reasonably cautious. I haven’t vetted this cause, I’m only passing it along because there might be court reporters out there that want to try their hand at being somebody’s expert. I’ve been given the go ahead to share the materials publicly, so you will be able to make your own judgment call on whether you can help and to what extent. The first few pages detail the objectives of the project and the questions that need answering. Personally, I think my $500 offer was as low as it gets, but if you prove me wrong, feel free to brag about it in the comments.

What I think we need here, in this case, are the stenographic notes. We should definitely start telling defense attorneys to question transcripts more often and even inspect stenographic notes. I know you all hate the harassment, but if they’re thinking about us, we’re in business. Sad reality is that we are where we are today because we became too invisible. We need to be seen as integral. They don’t even know how to challenge our transcripts because we’ve done so excellently for so long. Challenges would also probably create more private sector work, especially if there was a healthy supply of people questioning transcripts and court reporters reviewing stenographic notes. Tell me that Veritext wouldn’t capitalize on a market like that. The shortage would disappear overnight. Maybe that’s where they’re headed with digital. Audio forensic experts and fighting over missing or altered testimony. Just a little bit of playful speculation.

As an aside, it’s been an interesting start to the year. Two litigants have found this blog already. It’s likely to begin attracting more pro se and court-involved members of the public that are interested in court reporting, are looking for court reporters, or are seeking to publish about their case. People feel powerless in the system. Maybe some will see the work I’m doing and throw a dollar down on my front page. After all, I’m taking swipes at powerful people while those powerful people are looking to degrade court record accuracy with their recklessness and scheming. Nobody I spoke to last Sunday thinks court record accuracy should go down. Pretty much everybody that hears about what stenographers are being put through and takes the time to understand it sides with us. Not everybody’s got the time, and that’s okay.

Anyway, here’s Mr. Saunders’s materials. TKPWHRUBG.

NCRA STRONG: The Demise of the Ducker Report…

On Monday NCRA published “From NCRA Strong: The Demise of the Ducker Report: lessons learned and successes celebrated.” This was a personal favorite of mine because it skillfully and articulately takes many of the issues we have been discussing as professionals for the last few years, wraps them up, and puts them to rest. In summary, the article lines up that Ducker is outdated and that despite some organizations stating the shortage is impossible to solve, there have been a multitude of developments in the field that have helped us along, such as NCRA A to Z, Open Steno, and Allie Hall’s creation of court reporting programs around the country. It’s an excellent read, go check it out.

Special thanks to:

Elizabeth Harvey, FAPR, RPR

Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

Lilian Freiler, FAPR, RMR, CMRS

Michelle Kirkpatrick, RDR, CRR, CRC

P.S. I had some inspiring words for NYSCRA group members that I’d like to share with everyone.

Christopher Day’s remarks on the Demise of Ducker post by NCRA Strong

Are Transcription Companies Using Influencers to Build Workforce?

Migliore & Associates posted this influencer video. You could tell it would be good by what the firm had to say about the video.

Migliore & Associates: Your case shouldn’t be somebody’s side hustle. Hire a professional stenographic court reporter.

I’ve personally seen a couple of videos like it. The presenter starts “ready for another side hustle? This one’s for you if you are broke and lazy.” She proceeds to mention that you can transcribe audio and video into text with these websites.

Likely transcription influencer describes sites where people can find transcription work.

The video continues to make transcription seem simple by stating that you’re not actually doing any work. She mentions how you can go to an automatic speech recognition (ASR) site called SpeechNotes, speak the words, and have them transcribed. But the science we have so far points to ASR being better for whites than black speakers as well as the AAVE dialect. That’s a lot of unserved jobseekers. What she’s describing is essentially voice writing, but without a “stenomask” or Nuance’s software trained to your voice. She closes by saying, in part, that there’s “no reason” a person can’t make $2,000 to $3,000 a month.

There’s a lot to be said about this. First, it embodies and emboldens our argument about quality. Do lawyers want the accuracy of the record to become a side hustle? It also points to what a scam digital court reporting / recording really is, because even if companies are able to successfully train enough digital reporters / recorders to take the work, it’s clear that there’s a transcriber shortage.

Digital court reporting proponents want to move to a system of digital reporters and transcribers despite a transcriber shortage.

Probably from the terrible pay! $0.30 to $1.10 per audio minute according to the video. That’s $18 to $66 per hour. That doesn’t account for any time it takes to submit a job or edit voice transcription mistakes, which could be 20% or more of a transcription. That doesn’t include any proofreading time. With average transcription times ranging anywhere between an hour and six hours, depending on the methodology of transcription, we could be talking about $9 to $33 an hour. Less if we actually divide by six, $3 to $11 an hour. That $2,000 a month could require between 666 hours and 60 hours. At that kind of pay, transcribers would probably be better off trying to argue that they are misclassified employees — at least it would guarantee the ones in America minimum wage, which the independent contractor title does not. At that kind of pay, it means digital court reporting / recording won’t have enough transcribers to cover all the work it wants to take from stenography.

Likely transcription influencer points to the pay one can expect as a transcriber, omits the extra time it takes to transcribe certain matters.
Image of a transcriber reporting that a 1-hour deposition can take 6 hours to transcribe.

Transcription companies utilize influencers to bring in business. It’s not hard to imagine transcribers also being lured in under this model. Transcription fixture Rev is open about their influencer program to bring in business, which I respect.

Could Rev’s influencer program create content misleading to jobseekers?

This is an easy peek at how companies manipulate folks. Throw up an attractive model, make something seem great, get people to buy into the idea. Once they’re bought in, post-purchase rationalization and confirmation bias keep them bought in unless they have a horrifying epiphany or really bad experience.

There are people in the field speaking out against mistreatment, but progress is slow. Stenographers can take note that the cracks are forming in the narrative of the larger corporate players though. Is this the future? Yes? Then why are we paying people like it’s 1990? Is this equal to stenography? Yes? Why don’t you pay them like stenographers? No? Why are you selling it? What’s the turnover like with these people we pay peanuts to? High? Why are you wasting all that time and energy retraining people? Do you profit from it? Low turnover? Then where are all these people? We have to deal with a crushing reality: Most of the data that people would need to make good decisions is in private hands that profit from the data being unavailable.

Luckily we have our own influencers and their numbers are likely to grow once stenographic organizations and collectives start getting serious about reaching audiences. Can’t wait to see what the creative minds out there think up next.


TikTok user workathomewoman mentions in her video a 3 to 1 ratio being possible for an experienced transcriber.

What to Say When Offered $0.60 Per Audio Minute

A member of our court reporting community was sent an e-mail soliciting work at $0.60 per audio minute. For contrast, I have heard of reporters working for $100 an audio hour or more, or the equivalent of $1.67 per audio minute, and that was over 10 years ago. It would be about $2.25 per audio minute today, or about $135 per hour, adjusted for inflation.

Independent contractors offered $0.60 per audio minute, less than half the going rate.

Many of us would take issue with that kind of an offer, but this stenographer took the opportunity to educate.

Response to independent contractors being offered $0.60 per audio minute, less than half the going rate.

The company rep apologized and explained that she was not aware. But the stenographer in question kept educating and advocating. I will note that, based on my knowledge of the industry, I believe there’s a typo here, $35 per minute should likely be $35 per page. For anyone not in the field, typically 40 to 60 pages an hour can be expected, meaning 0.66 to 1 page per minute.

Stenographer explains the exploitation of the transcription industry in America.

The corporate rep replied honestly. She had no idea about the earning potential of court reporters.

Response to the earning potential of stenographic court reporters.

Our brave friend continued to educate on the state of the industry.

Stenographer writing about the exploitation of private equity firms in transcription and stenographic court reporting.

To which our company rep closed with:

Company representative on the efficacy of AI in legal transcription.

There are a number of takeaways here. Taking everything at face value, we’re now opened to the possibility that at least some of these company reps are not adequately trained or briefed on the earning potential of court reporters. But it is interesting to note that a company representative is completely aware that AI is not adequate for transcription. It points to a world where we can be drivers of change by simply describing the truth.

It is very unfortunate that companies are diving into the space without an adequate plan to reimburse independently contracted transcribers. But if we can all respond with the above tact and facts when dealing with company reps and transcribers, we can create a shield of information where no one is unknowingly taken advantage of. Not only is speaking up the right thing to do; it will have the desirable effect of increasing job security for stenographic court reporters.

A big thank you for sharing these messages with all of us on Stenonymous.


A reader shared that if one is on the Massachusetts ACT list, they’re paid $3 per page, meaning $0.60 per minute would be a serious reduction in that rate. Even at a highly skilled level, one audio hour can equal one or two transcription hours, meaning that $0.60 a minute is the equivalent of $0.20 a minute or $12 an hour. Unskilled transcribers can take much longer, particularly if the audio quality is bad, meaning their true hourly rate is even lower.

Join Chris DeGrazio’s Virtual Steno Events!

Rising professional Chris DeGrazio will be holding a series of online events in May and June. If you’re free, check these out this weekend.

Mental Health Awareness May 29, 2022

On Sunday, May 29, at 8:00 p.m. EST, join us for a mental health discussion.

Then on Monday, May 30, at 8:00 p.m. EST, check out the virtual healing session!

Virtual Healing May 30, 2022

Dates and registration links for June events will be released as soon as possible.


Happy Memorial Day! See the message and resources released by NCRA today!