NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, responded to recent comments made by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC about the importance of court reporters.
Dear Ms. Maddow & MSNBC:
On behalf of the 30,000+ stenographic court reporters and captioners around the world, and the court reporting and captioning members of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), we would like to extend a sincere “thank you” and our deep appreciation for the shout-out that you gave on your segment that aired the evening of Feb. 20 about the important work that we do as stenographic reporters and captioners. Court reporters and captioners silently work in the background every day to ensure an accurate record is made, not just in the courtrooms and the halls of justice, but also as stenographic captioners providing access to the spoken word in real time to the deaf and hard of hearing community. You are correct that without the highly technical skills of court reporters serving on the floors of courtrooms across the United States, as well as the U.S. Senate and House, news outlets such as yours and the public would not be guaranteed access to the most accurate and timely record of all matters addressed by our lawmakers. In addition, court reporters serving in courts at all levels throughout the country are also vital to guaranteeing an accurate and timely record is made to ensure fairness is allotted in the event of an appeal. Captioners provide a vital link to the deaf and hard of hearing community, not just in emergency situations such as local, state, or national disasters and weather-related events, but also in venues that include theaters, the classroom, public places where televisions are available, and more.
The National Court Reporters Association and our members are always available to share what they love about their chosen professions and are very proud to demonstrate how they capture the spoken word and transform it in real time into the written word. Please visit DiscoverSteno.org to learn more about the opportunities that exist in a court reporting or captioning career. Finally, as you know, stenographic court reporters have taken down testimony and preserved an accurate and unbiased record of human history for eons, capturing the record of important proceedings dating back to the fourth century B.C. It might make for an interesting story by your network in chronicling the silent person in the room capturing the human story and history.
The professionals in our industry have been there at all the important events in history documenting everything including all the impeachments, high profile cases in American history, the Nuremberg Trials, and every event that needed an accurate and complete record. Most Americans never think about how real history is captured and it might be a nice feature to show them that a human is there utilizing their skills and the latest technology at every pivotable moment in history ensuring the integrity of the record. Again, allow me as the President of the National Court Reporters Association to express our sincere “thank you” for taking the time in your segment to recognize the hard work of our court reporters and captioners and the important role that they play in so many venues. It is very much appreciated. Best wishes and continued success in 2020 for you and MSNBC.
Max Curry, B.C.R., RPR, LCR, CRI, CCRNCRA President 2019-2020