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A Message From Your 2019 NCRA Board

Here is your update on recent NCRA Board action. 

With the help of our Government Relations team and Dave Wenhold, Interim Executive Director, we have formed the new NCRA STRONG Task Force. 

For decades, the profession has heard that tape recording, now referred to as electronic recording technology, would be taking our jobs “someday.”  The intrusion of electronic recording in state courts began more than two decades ago, but the freelance and captioning worlds have remained relatively safe until recently. 

To many of our members, that “someday” seems much closer with the influx of voice-to-text technology and the billions of dollars flooding into that market.  With the addition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to development of electronic recording systems, the profession is facing a new and growing threat that is putting consumers at risk.

NCRA and its members are facing challenges in the widespread consideration and implementation of electronic recording in the states.  This modality is increasingly penetrating the market as state courts and private court reporting firms are turning to this technology in response to real, corporate-created, and sometimes fictitious reporter shortages amid budgetary constraints, without regard to obvious and documented issues posed by electronic recording, and undeterred by the inferior quality of records produced by that technology. 

This trend of cost-cutting over record integrity poses perhaps the most imposing level of competition yet to the stenographic court reporting profession, to NCRA’s members, and more importantly, the integrity of the record to those who are consumers of our services. 

NCRA needs YOUR help to achieve the resources and boots-on-the-ground information that can be utilized to fight the proliferation of electronic recording in the most effective way. In order to be successful in proving our ethical, professional, and value-laden practice over electronic recording, we must mobilize the court reporting community to unite behind this singular challenge and respond to this growing trend of inferior and, likely, more costly methods.

Our new task force, NCRA STRONG, will be meeting regularly, helping to organize many grassroots actions, and providing a toolbox for members to utilize in educating the public and legal community regarding the importance of utilizing stenographic reporters nationwide.

Plans will be developed and executed to raise awareness in our external audiences about the dangers and pitfalls of electronic recording usage through articles in state and national newsletters. 

The task force will work with state affiliates to create materials to be utilized by members of both the state and national associations and distributed to key decision-makers and end users to educate them in a very fact-based way. 

In addition, in concert with NCRA’s Government Relations staff, the task force will conduct legislative review and analysis of electronic recording-related legislation in the states and coordinate advocacy response efforts and small rapid response forces in geographic regions.  These rapid response forces would be able to have constant contact with state leaders in their region and serve as an early warning system when these electronic recording issues arise. 

This task force will work with NCRA’s Government Relations staff on analyzing electronic recording legislation and its impact, and to identify courts and levels of freelance jobs that could be specific targets for the introduction of electronic recording.

The members of the NCRA STRONG Task Force are:

Phyllis Craver-Lykken, RPR, Chair

Lisa Migliore Black

Lillian M. Freiler, FAPR, RMR, CMRS

Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR

Cheryl Haab, RPR

Karen L. Hart, RMR, CRR

Elizabeth A. Harvey, RPR

Bruce A. Matthews, FAPR, RDR, CRR (Ret.)

Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Isaiah Roberts, RPR

Dineen Squillante, RPR

Lindsay Stoker, RPR, CRC

The NCRA Board is working as a unified-in-mission team to brainstorm, implement, and craft the very best plan for NCRA’s long-range future.  Our Board will have your back, and we ask for your patience, input, and support as we work daily to meet our profession’s challenges.  We will continue to advocate tirelessly for the unequaled value of our stenographic profession.

Together we are Stronger: NCRA Strong!

Sincerely,

Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

NCRA President

On Behalf of the NCRA Board of Directors

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