Ever since its first inception, court reporting has grown a great deal. Nowadays, reporters have much more tools at their disposal. When they began, they only relied on stenography machines. The 21st century is now upon us, meaning new technology has been integrated into the work of court reporters making them much more efficient than they initially were.
The stenograph was first introduced into the world of court reporting in the year 1913. At the time, this was a very efficient machine as it allowed its users, the reporters to press certain keys and create characters on scrolls of paper in code. In case a written transcript of a given proceeding was required, all the reporter needed to do was transcribe this text into a document that can be read by the receiving party.
At the dawn of the 1980s, the personal computer had become one of the greatest emerging piece of technology in the world. This allowed the introduction of computer-aided transcription, commonly referred to as CAT. This enabled computers to be integrated with stenographic machines.
The keystrokes on these machines were recorded in the internal memory of the machine or a removable storage device such as a floppy diskette. These saved records could easily be translated by a computer making the retrieval process a much easier and faster one. In case a transcript from a previous proceeding was required, the reporter would just edit the text and then make a finalized transcript for distribution.
Now, with much more powerful computers available, information can be processed at a rate much higher than that of the early 1980s. Cat systems are now able to translate a digitized record as the record gets captured by the device. In this way, text that is yet to be edited can be viewed right away. In the case of any errors, the reporter can make so as to produce the final document. This kind of stenograph is referred to as a real-time stenograph.
Some reporters also employ the use of voice writing. In this strategy, a court reporter speaks to a voice silence, which is a hand held mask that has a microphone in the inside. The reporter repeats all testimony to this device which makes an audio recording of the proceedings. This is a discrete way of reporting as none of the participants in the courtroom will be able to hear a single word of this.
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