Court Reporting Modes: Voice, Electronic and Stenographic

Stenographic Reporting

Stenographic court reporting is defined as court reporting accomplished using a stenotype machine. This machine is different from a typewriter or a computer because more than one key may be pressed at a time. The result is a series of letter combinations. The reporter creates their own, individualized dictionary before the proceeding. This dictionary is used to translate the letter combinations into words or phrases. From the translation, a transcript is made. The transcript may be generated electronically, in the case of which the stenographer must go back to check and edit the transcript. If the transcript has not been electronically generated, the stenographer must do this step themselves. The transcript is then given to the court.

Electronic Reporting

Electronic reporting, once accomplished with the use of analog tapes, is now cutting edge using computer-based digital systems. The equipment records different people on separate voice channels, so when many people are talking at once, or screaming over each other, it is easy to separate the voices from from each other and hear what each person said clearly. The court reporter oversees the equipment and also keeps a log of notes. These notes are recorded according to the time they were written and linked to that point in the recording. This makes it easier to find specific points in the report if the judge or attorneys wish to review something. Another benefit to electronic recording is that they can be transferred electronically, cutting court costs.

Voice Writing

Voice writing was created as a solution to the three part method of short hand, recording, and transcribing, which was a long process. Voice writers speak into a mask that records their voice but silences it so that it does not disturb the court proceedings. They report every word that is said. They record gestures and even reactions. They also must identify the speaker or the executor of the gestures and reactions. These reports can be instantly turned into text on a computer so the transcript is immediately available, making it a quick and convenient method of court reporting.