Court Reporting Throughout History
Court Reporting dates all the way back to 1600 B.C. Court Reporters still play an important part in society today, just as they did hundreds of years ago. They help with everything from correctly transcribing testimony to the closed captioning on television. Yet, court reporting is a job that requires lots of dedication, time, and money. The cost of court reporting school today for a three-year program cost about $16,381 with tuition and books. "It cost about $10,000 to get the required associates degree" (Marshall, Susan 1). That was around 17 years ago when she got her degree, which shows how the cost of schooling is going up. In this paper I will discuss the history of court reporting, the schooling required, the cost of starting up, and court reporting in the job force today.
In The Culture of Stenography Timeline it says, "The father of stenography, Marcus Tullius Tiro, former slave of Cicero, developed a shorthand system for recording orations in the Roman Senate. His symbol, the ampersand (&), remains in use" (1). Stenography is the art of writing in shorthand, "shorthand is a method of writing rapidly, by substituting characters, abbreviations, or symbols for letters, words or phrases" (History of Shorthand 1). Stenography has been changed many times over the years with Marcus Tullius Tero being just one of the founders. Cuneiform was considered a type of shorthand and was used as far back as 1600 B.C. Shorthand was created for the purpose of making it easier to record anything said that may want to be referred to at a later date. "In 1588, Timothe Bright, "The Father of Modern Shorthand," published his first method of shorthand, employing 500 symbols. Elizabeth I granted him a royal patent" (Culture of Stenography Timeline 1). This was a huge amount of symbols compared to what we have today, but it was a vast improvement over having to write down every single word spoken. The fact that Queen Elizabeth granted Bright a patent shows how important an idea that shorthand was. Then in 1837, Isaac Pitman developed an even more sophisticated system of shorthand. "Isaac Pitman developed the first shorthand system based on phonetics" (Culture of Stenography Timeline 1). "It consisted of 25 single consonants, 24 double consonants, and 16 vowel sounds" (History of Shorthand 2). This method was found to be used by almost all reporters in 1889. Not only did reporters use this though there are also other jobs that use the method of shorthand just as much; some of the jobs are journalist, secretary positions and anyone else who is required to copy down a large amount of information in a short period of time. "The Pitman System
was followed 50 years later by Gregg shorthand, which still is taught in some areas for non-reporting uses" (History of Court Reporting 1). Note that although the symbols helped from having to write out the whole word, it was improved immensely when the stenograph machine was invented. A man named Miles Bartholomew invented this almost 50 years later in 1879. This was, of course, improved upon by other people but for a time it was the best thing there was. Today, there are machines that require no paper. It has a screen on it where the paper tray would be and consist of a hard drive, compact flash drive and hooks up to a computer. This makes it much easier to transport the machine and its less hassle when a reporter is transcribing a job, as they don't have to worry about running out of paper. In the "Culture of Stenography Timeline" one of the most beneficial events was the introduction of realtime reporting: In 1985 "Courtroom of the Future" unveiled in Michigan, employed "realtime reporting," the instantaneous translation of a court reporters stenographic notes into English. The judge and litigants network with the court reporter's computer to view the realtime feed of the unfolding proceedings as well as transcripts of previous...
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