NCRA’s A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program sparks media interest

NCRA's Discover Steno: Explore. Consider. Learn

NCRA’s A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program, introduced last year, is steadily gaining interest by the public and the media. In addition to programs in more than 16 states, most recently media outlets in New York and Wisconsin highlighted the effort.

Good Morning Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., aired a piece on Sept. 19 that featured NCRA Director Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, an official court reporter from Webster. The story highlighted what Bonn does as well as emphasized the current need for court reporters and captioners. A second story that also featured Bonn provided insight into what it takes to enter the profession and included information about the A to Z programs she leads in her area.

On Sept. 14, WJFW Newswatch 12, Rhinelander, Wis., showcased NCRA member Lynn Penfield, RPR, CRR, an official court reporter from Harshaw, who will begin an A to Z program in October. The story notes that Penfield is running the program because she “considers [court reporting] the best job she’s ever had, and she wants to get more people interested in her field.”

NCRA Past President Nancy Varallo, FAPR, RDR, CRR, Worcester, Mass., developed the A to Z program to help those outside the profession experience steno by learning to write the basics. She graciously turned the program over to NCRA. Since then, NCRA’s Education Department has successfully worked at the grassroots level to promote the effort.

The six-to-eight week course is available at no cost to participants. Volunteer leaders host the sessions, and participants use loaner machines that have been donated by others in the profession.

To learn more about the A to Z Intro to Machine Steno program, visit, or contact Cynthia Bruce Andrews at

NCRA CEO Mike Nelson guest on Comcast Newsmakers

Elena Russo speaks with Mike Nelson, CEO and Executive Director for the National Court Reporters Association, about court reportingNCRA’s CEO and Executive Director, Mike Nelson, CAE, was interviewed last month for a segment of Comcast Newsmakers, a program that provides news and information from elected officials, public servants, and community leaders to connect viewers to important issues, events, and organizations that impact the community.

Nelson provided host Elena Russo information about NCRA’s members, their role in capturing the official record and providing other services to aid people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the use of legal videography in the legal arena.

In addition, Nelson discussed the profession’s flexibility, salary potential, and positive employment outlook as well as the Association’s efforts to recruit more students into court reporting programs.

Elena Russo speaks with Mike Nelson, CEO and Executive Director for the National Court Reporters Association, practice "air steno"After the interview, Russo continued her conversation with Nelson and asked him questions about the court reporting and captioning professions, such as how steno works, the skills needed to ensure success in the field, and more about the nonlegal venues where NCRA members work. Nelson also noted NCRA’s members’ involvement in the National Court Reporter Foundation’s Oral Histories Program and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

The Comcast Newsmakers segments are hosted on for up to two months, with select interviews appearing on Comcast’s XFINITY On Demand service. The segments can also be viewed via desktop or mobile browser and can be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

View Mike Nelson’s interview here.

Take Note campaign continues to pick up traction

NCRA’s Take Note campaign, launched last month to push the court reporting profession into the national spotlight, continues to spark the interest of media outlets nationwide. Fox News became the latest media outlet to showcase the profession’s growing employment opportunities in a special report on companies hiring that aired Oct. 7 on its Fox & Friends program. The reporter notes in the video the findings by research firm Ducker Worldwide that an additional 5,500 jobs are expected to open up across the country in the next five years. Fox & Friends is currently the #1 ranked morning show, according to cable news ratings. NCRA’s Take Note campaign was built around the industry outlook findings to support the future of court reporting through national advertising and public relations outreach. The program targets potential students and asks them to consider entering a profession that promises to offer an abundance of job opportunities in the coming years.

Watch the video.