Machine Shorthand Reporter
Machine shorthand reporters produce word-for-word transcripts of the spoken word in both live and recorded form for parliament, courts of law, medical purposes, television programs, business conferences and lectures.
Duties & Tasks
Machine shorthand reporters may perform the following tasks:
- operate and monitor sound recording equipment
- list the speakers in court proceedings and log major events
- record proceedings from digital audio recordings using a computer or stenotype machine
- use computer-aided transcription (CAT) which translates the shorthand recorded by the stenotype machine onto a computer screen enabling transcription in real-time
- produce captions for television programs
- research terminology used
- edit the transcript for syntax and grammar
- read back portions of notes or replay a recording on request.
Computer Assisted Real-Time (CART) Reporter
A computer assisted real-time (cart) reporter provides a word-to-text service for the deaf and hearing-impaired, usually in a meeting or university lecture environment. These words are projected onto a laptop or onto a larger screen via a data projector. Real-time is also used in the courts, Hansard and business environments to provide instantaneous translation.
A court recorder using digital equipment, records the proceedings at various courts of law (the Family, Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Industrial Courts) or at Royal Commissions, enquiries and public hearings. Sound is recorded and log notes of the main events are taken.
A court reporter uses computer-aided transcription (CAT) technology to provide transcripts to courts and tribunals. These transcripts are displayed instantly on computers in the hearing room or to computers anywhere in the world via the internet.
A hansard reporter records the daily proceedings in the chambers of state, territory and federal parliaments, and in their committees and ministerial conferences.
A stenocaptioner produces online captions (or subtitles) of spoken word, environmental sounds (laughter, for example) and song lyrics in real time for television programming using a stenotype machine. The transcription (in captions) then becomes part of the television broadcast.
Sound recording involves three stages: first, monitors record the proceedings using a digital audio recording system; then machine shorthand reporters transcribe the digital audio file onto computer; and finally transcript checkers edit hard copy of the transcript for accuracy against the audio.
Stenograph reporters producing transcripts in real time need a shorthand speed of at least 200 words per minute.
Court recorders and court reporters usually work during court hours. Hansard (parliament) reporters work long, irregular hours.
Stenocaptioners work shifts to cover television programming, usually at the originating television station's premises. Computer assisted real-time (CART) reporters work in different locations, for example, a courtroom, university campus, boardroom or conference.
- good hearing and concentration
- fast and accurate machine writing skills
- able to work under pressure
- wide vocabulary and sound knowledge of spelling, grammar and punctuation
- broad general knowledge, particularly in current affairs and politics
- interest in parliament and courts and their procedures
- comfortable with new technology.