Court Reporters Job Description video

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When it is essential to have an exact legal record of what people said, the services of court reporters are needed. They are trained to quickly create a record of testimony, speeches, conversations, legal proceedings and other events. Court reporters even take down the words of our nation’s lawmakers in Congress. In courtrooms, the court reporter makes the only legal record of events. He or she might be called upon to read back testimony during the trial…and the court reporter’s work is cited during legal appeals. Court reporters usually complete a two or four year training program at a post-secondary technical school or community college in order to learn a highly specific technical language in career school or two- year colleges. They work on stenotype machines, typing several keys at once to record sound combinations that can then be translated into a transcript. In recent years, court reporters have moved into the field of providing instant translations for the deaf and hard of hearing. Called “closed captioning,” these real-time readouts of commentary and dialogue allow people with hearing challenges to understand live television events. Court Reporters must have excellent listening skills as well as good English, grammar and punctuation skills. Excellent hearing is a must. Words are important—whether on television, in a courtroom, in a deposition or in Congress. In effect, court reporters are providing us with instant, objective history.

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