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NCRA responds to comments on MSNBC

Recently MSNBC news anchor Brian Williams and former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) made comments on MSNBC about stenographers in the U.S. Senate. A post on the NCRA Facebook page responded. NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, also responded in a video, and a letter was sent to national news outlets. For more information about how NCRA has mobilized to promote stenography, visit our NCRA STRONG webpage.

NCRA’s Facebook post: “MSNBC, the most technologically advanced method of capturing the spoken word and producing a record is the stenographic reporter. An accurate record is more important than ever today. And the best way to get the most accurate record is that stenographer on the floor of the Senate and House who reports the proceedings in realtime (instant translation as the reporter is writing). Their realtime transcripts create the daily Congressional Record printed by the government printing office. Claire McCaskill, as a former senator, you should appreciate the job they do in getting the record quickly and accurately. Brian Williams, those stenographers have been working nearly nonstop since October. No other method would be able to keep the record with so many people talking at the same time. The stenographers are really the unsung heroes in the impeachment trial. #discoversteno #ncrastrong

Some of the responses NCRA has received on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are highlighted below.

“For decades, it has been our job to go about our duty quietly and unnoticed while doing an amazing job. I think we’ve discovered in the last few years that it’s very important to talk about the job we are doing and how we do it. What a great opportunity this affords us to educate, inform, and recruit.”

Amy Doman, RPR, CRR, a freelancer from Carmel, Ind.

“Thanks for this response, NCRA. This is a teaching moment. The next step is to offer to show Brian Williams how much goes into our job.

“In some ways, Williams was simply doing his job by asking the question. Stanley Sakai wrote an article just last week, and the headline he put on it was almost word for word what Williams asked.”

Ksenija Zeltkalns, RPR, a freelancer in Topeka, Kan.

“Just watching these hearings as a stenography student made me really appreciate the reporters who are in the front lines of recording the spoken word at such a critical time in our history. You are all truly an inspiration!”

Lynn Mackey

“What an incredible opportunity to educate the masses about our profession. It saddens me (boggles my mind?!) that a news anchor and former senator, of all people, have zero idea what we do and why we do it the way we do.”

Kim Sziva Johnson

“Do they even realize the closed captioning of what they just said on their program is being done by an ‘old-fashioned’ stenographer??”

Robin Kulhanek Day

“Seems like a teachable moment for those who are completely clueless about what we do!”

Alexa Goldman

“They definitely need to be educated. It’s too bad those statements were made for all to hear. They just spread the ignorance to the masses.”

Heather Holden

“YYYAAAYY!! Interview a court reporter and see what it takes. A LOT of hard work!!!”

Lindsay Moon

“I operated a court reporting school for 15 years. Hearing anyone speak like this of court reporters is insulting to every one of them. You should educate yourself about what they do before denigrating the profession. Always speak from a place of knowledge.”

Sue Pratt

“Imagine if every single court reporter and captioner was a member of NCRA, and we could afford to spread this message far and wide. Please SHARE this with a smart reporter you know who isn’t yet a member with a personal invitation to join NCRA 2.0.”

Linda Hallworth, a freelancer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada