I have the privilege of working with a new California Certified Shorthand Reporter who passed the exam in November 2014. She wrote me asking if Kramm had any work we could send to her. My reply was, yes, but I would proof all of her work until she was ready to work on her own with a professional proofer.
I wonder, what happens to the other court reporters that don’t have someone reading over their transcripts?
Recently, I was reading over another young reporter’s work and was very disappointed in the work product. There were misspellings, non-words, and confusing punctuation. When I asked, “Why,” I got the response that that was how she had learned to do things in school, and she proofs her own work to ensure everything is correct, “I don’t trust anyone else doing a good job on my transcripts.” The response made no sense to me.
I realize that most new CSRs or court reporters have limited funds, and it might seem too expensive to hire someone to proof or scope their work. I would suggest that all new court reporters, no matter the circumstance, whether working in alliance with a firm or freelancing, need to have someone proof their work. A good proofer will teach how to handle the nuances of putting the spoken word on paper when it comes to making a transcript.
Paying for a proofer has value. Young reporters are setting themselves up for the rest of their career. Being known for clean, usable transcripts has a tremendous value. Being known for sloppy, poor transcripts might haunt you the rest of your life.
Finding a smart scopist/proofer is important. I believe a retired court reporter would be a good choice, because the experienced court reporter could make suggestions on globals and format. I see many reporters asking for help on format and punctuation on Facebook. The problem with Facebook is there can be a myriad of errors that a new reporter wouldn’t know they need to address, and some of the advice might be correct in one geographical area, but wrong in another.
Approximately 10 percent of court reporting students pass the qualifying exams that allow them to practice, and schools teach and test punctuation, but in the real world, people sometimes speak in an “interesting” way, and weird scenarios happen all of the time when creating a transcript. Turning out beautiful transcripts is what makes our profession so respected and great.
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