Stenonymous Source: The Actual Per-Page Rate Comes To $9.44…

Stenonymous (anonymous) source provides redacted Imagine Reporting invoice.

Anonymous: “Imagine Reporting in San Diego was recently acquired by Lexitas – one of the latest monopolization/consolidation moves here in CA, hence the Dallas address on the invoice. The result? They bumped up the prices. The actual per page rate comes to $9.44/pp for this 143 page transcript, after factoring in all the add-ons. I wonder how much $/pp they paid the reporter…”

I have to point back to my research about tacit parallelism. Even where competitors are not actively colluding, they see that they can jack up the prices because everybody is jacking up the prices. I don’t believe that Lexitas or Imagine was a part of the Speech-to-Text Institute or the market manipulation there. But we’re seeing how the continued consolidation of the field is leading toward very high prices for attorneys. It seems page rates are being kept artificially low and some of these companies are relying on the add-ons and surcharges to make a buck. It’s pretty smart, since it can almost double revenue.

Just to drive this home — and I get it, I’m in a different state — reporters in New York City are 30 years behind inflation. If their rates had kept up with inflation, the rate would be around $6.00 per page. That’s on our automatic O+2s . Now, to put this into perspective, reporters aren’t generally making $6.00, and though I’m overjoyed when people come out of the woodwork to say they make more than that, I hate to tell you that you’re in the deep minority. When I came out of school I was offered $2.80 (2010). Many of my classmates were offered $3.25 and that was considered a good rate. Last year I had at least one person report that they were still being offered $3.25. Some say they’ve gotten $4.00. Some say they’ve gotten $4.50. Nowhere near $6.00.

And again, with all the add-ons, we’re looking at a charge of $9.44 or $9.46, so it’s basically taking what reporters should be paid, adding 60%, and sending out a bill. That’s in the context of a profession where previously there were 70-30 splits in favor of reporters. Then we look at what reporters are being paid, and just to be nice, we’ll take the $4.50. $9.46 – $4.50. $4.96. That $4.96 is 110% of the $4.50. And now just to complete the thought, $9.46 – $3.25. $6.21. 191% of the $3.25 attorneys might pay if we just cut out the middleman — or at least the middlemen charging high.

The skeptic says: So what? You’re New York. This is California — or Texas — or wherever. To that I say if there was a genuine shortage on the scale that it was advertised as being, agencies would simply be pulling New Yorkers to go certify, license, and work. And this can be mathematically shown. If the rate for New Yorkers should be close to 6 and is actually 4.50 (we’ll cut out the 3.25s and 2.80s and pretend everyone’s getting a decent O+2). 6 – 4.50 = $1.50. We’re talking about a 33% raise for some of the best-paid people and more than doubling the income of kids who get out of school and accept $2.80 a page because they just don’t know any better. And that $6.00 is still a heck of a lot lower than the $9.44. Even if we went back to the 70-30 splits with $6.00 to the reporter, it’d be around $8.58 a page. This also doesn’t account for places where the cost of living is lower than New York City, which would effectively be an even higher raise. Again, these business folks are all about numbers and money. If there was a monumental shortage rather than a desire to depress court reporter incomes, they’d be easily pulling people in with raises or a lower cost of living — unless everywhere in the whole entire country is as underpaid as New York City, which seems unlikely. They were paying us 25 cents on copies while Ohio was getting 2 bucks.

So thank you to my Stenonymous source. You not only helped me show my audience the heavy cost of court reporting add-ons potentially doubling attorney bills, but also help bring out the fact that the shortage that was advertised (70% of the field vanishing by about 2033) is not the shortage we got (coverage issues in the California courts that refused to use money earmarked for enticing court reporters),

The rest is up to the people that share this article and keep attorneys and court reporters informed.

Stenographer Shortage? Not On My Watch! Stenofluencer Ad Launches… Will You Stand With Us?

The Stenonymous ad campaign with Stenofluencer launched quietly last night. Thank you to everyone that took the time to like and share. See below for how you can help.

Stenonymous Ad Campaign with Stenofluencer

I believe this can be part of a larger series with help from readers like you. Any money sent to Stenonymous during the lifetime of this ad campaign (until September 11, 2023), will be designated toward developing and running more advertising to reduce the shortage. Stenonymous has put out tons of information with regard to advertising metrics and the fact that solvable localized shortages were painted as an unsolvable national problem. Up until now, a lot of my advertising was aimed at attorneys to educate them on the issues we’re facing in the field. But the objective of solving the localized shortages still remains. For an example of how this plays out in the real world, I know for a fact that right now the Bronx is hurting for court reporters more than any other borough in New York City. Meanwhile, at least one freelancer in the private sector reported they were told there were too many reporters and not enough work. So even in individual cities, we’re seeing uneven shortage impacts.

Please consider donating to Stenonymous today to end localized shortages. Based on this ad’s current stats, I expect it will cost $150 per 1,000 engagements, $30 per 1,000 impressions. With the help and support of people like you, I believe we can bring those numbers down to half of what they are today. To put these numbers into perspective, about $30,000 would get the ad in front of a million people, and about $150,000 would get a million people to like or share it if progress is linear. $30,000 is more or less the equivalent of every court reporter throwing down a dollar. We don’t need that kind of money to make an impact, but raising more money will make a bigger impact than the one I will make by myself. If you donate, please email in or comment below what geographical area(s) you feel need the most advertising, as it will help us improve audience targeting on future ads.

Stenonymous can be sent money through PayPal or Zelle (, Venmo @Stenonymous, the donation box at the front page of, or the special donation box I’m setting up below. Even if you cannot contribute any amount of money, please share this on social media so that it can get in front of the people that can.

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Due to an oversight on my end about how Facebook presents information, I mistakenly believed the Cost Per Mille was lower than it currently is. I will have more accurate data and an explanation by the end of the campaign. The overall principle still stands that community support will make or break this campaign.

Jackie Mentecky: Attorneys, You May Be A Victim of Digital Court Reporting

Link to post.

Jackie Mentecky shares error-prone digital court reporter transcript excerpt
Jackie Mentecky shares blank-prone digital court reporter transcript excerpt

I’m pretty sure all this speaks for itself, but I’ll point out that court reporters across the country are doing their part to educate attorneys on the actual status of the field. It’s not just New York, California, Illinois, and Texas. Every state has their leaders and activists, and as more of us stand up and say “this is wrong,” it will become an untenable situation for the organizations that lied to the public about the overall availability of stenographers, such as Veritext, US Legal, and Planet Depos, all of which were represented on the Speech-to-Text Institute board, the vehicle they used to lie to the public and make localized shortages out to be impossible-to-solve national ones. They used a simple trick. Knowing attorneys want stenographers, they told them we were unavailable to get them using digital court reporters.

Leadership of the Speech-to-Text Institute, an organization that took down its website after being sued by Pascal Perez for anticompetitive acts.
Leadership of the Speech-to-Text Institute, an organization that took down its website after being sued by Pascal Perez for anticompetitive acts.
Leadership of the Speech-to-Text Institute, an organization that took down its website after being sued by Pascal Perez for anticompetitive acts.

If anyone would like to help advertise this post to attorneys, please donate whatever amount you feel comfortable donating at the front page of Be advised that I do not receive your credit card info when you do. You can also PayPal, Zelle, or Venmo @stenonymous.

I Made A Computer Program That Types Faster Than Any Stenographer Alive

In full disclosure, I’ve made two. (YouTube)(TikTok)

If you follow me on social media, you’ve likely seen these before, but the point still stands: Companies can make outrageous claims about their technology. It’s down to consumers to “trust, but verify.”

The joke is that in both videos I go on and on about how my programs are better than stenographers because they “type faster.” And they do. But the trick is that one is making up gibberish transcripts and the other is retyping text that it’s already been given. So I’m going “yeah, this technology is FASTER!” But that doesn’t mean anything. It can never take your job. It doesn’t learn. It’s a simple script I wrote that anyone can play with online.

Similarly, with AI, be wary about claims. To those not in the know, it seems like magic. Those in the know have an economic incentive to tell you it is magic and that you should buy it. Same goes for your clients.

All we can do is educate each other on propaganda techniques and march forward.

If any attorneys are watching, “they’ll” tell you we’re replaceable long before we are, as they have been for about 50 years. You guys cross-examine liars all day, so I’m sure you can figure this one out.

Most stenographers become work-ready at 225 words per minute

Broadway News: Joshua Edwards Captions 2023 Tony Awards

Had the privilege of reviewing this article in the Broadway News about our very own Joshua Edwards and the company he co-owns, StenoCaptions LLC. There’s a paywall and I must respect the owners’ copyright by law and ethics, so I can only really give snippets and commentary. But stenographers everywhere are making the news, and that’s a wonderful thing.

“This year’s unscripted ceremony marked Edwards’ fifth Tonys and — what he says — was the most liberating of them all.” In brief, because of solidarity with the writer strike, the event was unscripted. As stated in the article, reported by Ruthie Fierberg, the script is usually 200 pages long. That script is used for captioning preparation. This year, Joshua had to go in without it.

The article turns out to be a real teaching moment. Joshua explained briefs and dictionaries, as well as talking about the importance of accessibility. Towards the end of the article, he’s quoted as saying “the people who must demand a live human captioner are the consumers who depend on us, our accuracy and reliability.” I find this to be very true. If consumers do not take a stand, they will be given whatever slop providers want to give.

I don’t know if you’ll end up reading this, but thank you, Joshua, for representing and showing people that stenography is modern, capable, and ready to meet the demands of captioning consumers. There have been many in modern times that have tried to obfuscate that truth about stenographers, court reporters and captioners alike. Unfortunately for them, the truth remains the truth whether you like it or not.

And thank you, Broadway News and Ruthie Fierberg, for a great article.

EchoTheSavage Reviews Stenonymous Songs

Have you ever wondered what somebody might say about the Stenographers Song?

EchoTheSavage reviews Stenographers Song

Personally, my favorite facial expression in this video was…

Stenonymous’s favorite EchoTheSavage expression during the Stenographers Song review.

EchoTheSavage was pretty close in the beginning part there. He says the lyrics were written by me and performed by somebody else, but Anonymous actually wrote and created the song, which really impressed me when I first commissioned it. All I gave was creative direction. The crazy thing is toward the end of the review, he mentions how everybody’s voice can be tinkered with via AI. So he knows exactly what we’re trying to get out there when we talk about voice cloning being dangerous for legal proceedings without knowing a damn thing about us.

Now, I get pretty deep and political here, so if you just want a light read, stop here, close me out, go enjoy your day. Otherwise, keep reading.


If you follow my politics, you’ve probably figured out that I’m against corporatism. I think it threatens American capitalism. I think there’s a strong corporatist streak in both major American parties, and that the failure of government to enforce the laws equally is due largely to the fake media circus that Congress uses to distract Americans from the fact that they’re not doing their job and writing laws that would make Americans’ lives better and siphon more of the economy to working people. If they’d budget more money for things that are meant to keep markets fair, like the Federal Trade Commission, we’d see a fantastic shift in the state of the country and an explosive expansion of the middle and upper middle class. You think it’s not that easy? Look how tech went from AI Winter to being this omnipresent thing in our lives. What happened? Investors dumped money on it. When we dump money — no, when we invest in the people that keep this country running, from the cleaning people, to the cops and firefighters, to the doctors and lawyers, what do you think happens?

Why do you think the people in power rely so much on the “money is not the solution” line of thinking? Say something enough and it becomes truth. I have learned the media game and how left and right leaning people are being divided through the behavior of our leaders. I suspect it’s related to the Milgram experiment, where we learned that people are willing to put other people in danger if an authority figure tells them to. Authority figures have more or less directed us to fight amongst ourselves over things that really aren’t important while corporations continue to consolidate and more wealth flows into fewer hands. After the Citizens United ruling, unlimited money came into politics, and politics became a game of who had the most funding for their campaign. Who had the most money to give politicians? So now those fewer hands get to write our laws.

If you’ve ever had a pair of thieves steal from you, it’s a very similar scheme. One comes up to you and chats you up while the other one grabs your money or valuables out of your backpack. This is the rich man’s version of that. “Hey everyone, fight about nothing while the richest organizations in the country rob you blind.” It doesn’t have to be this way. We can unify. We can make a change. I feel so strongly about this I had a song commissioned a song called Patriots Against Corporatism.

EchoTheSavage reviewed that too.

EchoTheSavage reviews the Patriots Against Corporatism song.

I liken it to court reporting. People have told me nobody’ll read my work and that I won’t make a difference. We can argue about degrees of success, but they were wrong. And if people so sure of themselves could be wrong, and most of us are within the same range of human intelligence, then perhaps the people that think they rule the world are wrong too. And maybe the people who think that their voice doesn’t matter will realize that they might be wrong too.

And for as long as you’re alive, no matter how wrong you are, you have a chance to make a change.

Massachusetts Court Reporters Association Publishes Open Letter to Stenograph (Town Hall Response)

An open letter by the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association was published to their Facebook page today, May 25, 2023. It is my understanding it will be sent directly to Mr. Anir Dutta, president of Stenograph later today.

Jill Kourafas, President of the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association, publishes an open letter about the May 20233 Stenograph Town Hall Meeting.

It points out many of the things I mentioned in my blog yesterday and asks Stenograph to give more control of the event to the stenographic community.

Open Letter to Stenograph by the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association, Part 1.
Open Letter to Stenograph by the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association, Part 2.

It’s a big question how Stenograph will respond, if at all, to the letter. But if you’d like to show support to the MCRA on this brave move, share this today, and consider a donation to the association!


The open letter was edited after the original post and the links have changed. Link 1. Link 2.

Stenograph Town Hall To Be Held on May 31, 2023

In an email received at about 3:11 p.m. today, Stenograph announced the date of its town hall meeting and distributed an invite link. Participants are asked to send their questions to by May 30, 2023.

Stenograph May 2023 Town Hall invitation.

I’ll start with something positive. I think this is a step in the right direction. Customers have been asking for a little love and attention for a long time, and this is definitely trying to give them what they asked for. The petition went out last week. Mr. Dutta’s public comments were discovered this weekend, and here we are.

There are some problems with the way this is being done. First, Stenograph being in control of the questions means that some questions may be disregarded. If you send in questions, consider saving evidence that you sent them and then letting me know if any of your questions were ignored afterwards. We can at least create a record of what wasn’t asked if my paranoia over Stenograph’s control of the event turns out to be healthy skepticism. Overlapping with that concern, there are questions about whether any live questions will be taken or whether the town hall will be exclusively limited to questions sent to the email provided by May 30. I have to admit, I believe that Stenograph should take some questions beforehand because it’s a company and it’s hard to answer questions on the fly about a company with no prep as to what those questions will be. But I also believe a healthy town hall would have some live question component.

Another problem that arises is that at 6 pm EST, it’s 3 PM PST. Many stenographers will be working at the time of the event, and if it is not recorded and distributed, they will miss it. Participants could record themselves using Open Broadcast Software or their phones or whatever, but it’s an extra step many won’t take. And again, paranoia strikes. What if low attendance is used to support the shortage narrative pushed by Stenograph, Veritext, US Legal Support, and the Speech-to-Text Institute? In my heart, I hope the company wouldn’t do that, but I’ve learned to stop thinking with my heart and understand that people play games.

If there are questions you want to ask that you don’t feel comfortable sending to Stenograph yourself, please comment them here. I will send them and keep a record of what I send. I will not send anything overtly inappropriate.

I’ve said many times before that if Stenograph admits that the Speech-to-Text Institute was wrong about the stenographer shortage being impossible to solve, it will make court reporting history. That’s what I’ll be looking out for. I have other questions about the percentage of revenue that goes into their R&D budget and what percentage of that is specifically spent on stenographic technology, but other than that, I haven’t yet decided what to ask.

For what it’s worth, if anybody from Stenograph is reading, thanks for doing this, but these are honest concerns court reporters have.

Court reporters, if you fight, you will win. You wanted a town hall and you got one. Make the most of it and remember this moment the next time someone tells you something cannot be done.


I messed up the times in the original post. It’s 6 PM EST, 3 PM PST. May 31, 2023.

Ai-Media Claims LEXI 3.0 Rivals Human Captioning at a Fraction of the Cost

Ai-Media acquired Alternative Communication Services in May 2020. According to the recollection of one source, there was a little buzz about it at the time and there were some who were concerned about the replacement of captioning providers and some that didn’t believe such a thing would happen. Well, they’ve been touting something called LEXI 3.0.

“…uses the power of AI to deliver results rivaling human captions, at a fraction of the cost.” – Ai-Media
“Sad to see this. Rivalling human captioners? You have (or had) an amazing team there — please don’t sell them short in the name of profit.” – Mike Rowell, RDR

This wasn’t the only post done on the matter.

“…AI to deliver results rivalling human captions, at a fraction of the cost.” – Ai-Media

So, I guess I really have to say to captioners what I have said to court reporters. If I get some funding behind me there’s a lot we can do. We could sponsor independent studies into the accuracy of AI versus human transcribers/captioners. What we have so far in that department is promising.

But even short of that level of funding, we could do more advertising to increase public awareness about misleading technology claims and perceptions, something that is hitting mainstream media right now. After all, as I reported on this blog, Microsoft said they had achieved tech as good as human transcribers back in 2016. Then it flopped in the Racial Disparities in Automatic Speech Recognition 2020 study. Verbit flip-flopped between its series A and series B funding, first talking about saving on manual labor and then saying that they would not take the human transcriber out. So now when Ai-Media claims its LEXI 3.0 is rivaling human transcribers, it makes me wonder if this might be just another claim that they’re using to sell, sell, sell.

The best part? They don’t even have to lie to mislead. Check out the post above. “The world’s most advanced and accurate automatic captioning solution!” This is what’s referred to in legal circles as puffery. Even if it’s BS, it’s probably not false advertising. “Watch our video to see how LEXI 3.0 uses the power of AI to deliver results rivalling human captions, at a fraction of the cost.” Well, anybody can declare something rivals something. I declare apples rival oranges and Stenonymous rivals Veritext. It doesn’t mean anything. At the end of the day, if the AI gets 40% and captioners get 90%, they still rival each other, it’s just that one would be a really poor rival. At a fraction of the cost? Does that mean all of the cost savings are passed directly to consumers? It sure isn’t a guarantee.

This is why I’m so forward about educating reporters on marketing tricks and propaganda techniques. We are all subjected to media that influences our thoughts, and those thoughts go on to influence our actions. If a person is constantly inundated with the message that technology is exponentially growing and that it’s coming for all the jobs, they won’t seek out information that challenges that belief, like all the links I posted above that most people probably skip over out. Thanks confirmation bias and busy schedules.

Meanwhile, there’s a totally alternate reality where we start dumping money into calling out these companies and working out exactly how true their claims are so that we can share it with the world.

Captioners, Stenonymous is on your side.

And yes, that’s an example of propaganda. But it’s also true.

Stenograph Customers Start Petition for Town Hall

A petition has been made asking Stenograph to acquiesce to a town hall meeting.

After Stenograph’s actions in Texas and Illinois, as well as the reports of declining service from the past and its questionable partnerships with TransAtlantic and TranscribeMe, Stenograph would ultimately be doing itself a favor to start reuniting with its stenographer base. In my view, all it would take for any of these companies under the Speech-to-Text Institute to sway stenographers back to their side is admitting that the Speech-to-Text Institute got it wrong with regard to the impossibility of solving the stenographer shortage.

Stenographers, now’s the time to make your voice heard. The petition only aims for a thousand signatures, but according to Stenograph’s own numbers, as I recall from the Illinois article, the number of Stenograph customers is much higher, in the 20,000 ballpark. The more we can do to spread the word, the more pressure Stenograph will feel to accept.

There’s a big question about who would moderate, but my money’s on Joshua Edwards. He’s always been fair and professional. He’d ensure no nastiness. Even I’d behave.

I assume they won’t accept. Then again, I’ve learned to never say never. I was told people would never read the blog. Now at least a thousand visit every month. Stenographers have a real chance at being a part of positive change by trying, so go sign today!