For the record: The secret world of the court stenographer

The Irish Times posted an article on Oct. 16 showcasing the important role stenographers play in capturing the record, as well as the skills needed to focus only on hearing what is being said. Gwen Malone, the court reporter in Ireland who is featured in the piece, said, tongue-in-cheek, “a stenographer is meant to be seen and not heard, like a young lady.”

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MATC stenography expanding with assist from Nigel Hayes

The Wisconsin State Journal ran an article on March 30 about the how the recent media coverage of Wisconsin player Nigel Hayes’s fascination with stenographers has spurred new interest in the court reporting program offered by Madison Area Technical College.

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Stenographer captures hearts of players and America during NCAA tournament

ESPNW.Today posted an interview on March 27 with NCRA member Toni Christy, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, a broadcast captioner from La Mesa, Calif. Christy became an overnight viral sensation last week during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament she was covering, thanks to the curiosity of Nigel Hayes and a couple of other Wisconsin men’s basketball players who thrust her and her profession into the national spotlight.

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NCRA member wows collegiate basketball players with her stenography skills

Court reporters and broadcast and CART captioners are used to working behind-the-scenes, but last weekend, an unexpected spotlight shined on NCRA member Toni Christy, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, while she was captioning the March 22 NCAA March Madness basketball game between Wisconsin and Oregon.

During the post-game press conference, three Wisconsin players — Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky, and Sam Dekker — were curious about the stenographer. “One of the folks in the interview room noticed how curious they appeared to be,” said Christy, “and asked if I would mind showing them how it worked.” Christy was focused on writing the press conference and was surprised when they came, as she put it, “running out full speed to check it out.”

The ESPN Men’s College Basketball Blog posted a story with a video about the encounter, and their fascination is clear. “They were inquisitive, excited to see how it worked, and it was refreshing to see that kind of excitement over what I do,” said Christy. “They loved it when they saw their name on my LCD screen, and they were ecstatic when Sam Dekker pushed the –LD and the word ‘would’ came up on the screen.” During the rest of the press conference, the players, Hayes in particular, began using words like cattywampus, onomatopoeia, and antidisestablishmentarianism to keep Christy on her toes.

The encounter won the hearts of basketball fans and went viral on social media, with more than a dozen media outlets and blogs picking up the story. On Twitter in particular, fans shared the story, with comments like “The best March Madness subplot, by far, is the Wisco obsession with stenographers” and “OK, now I’m fascinated by how stenography works. Thanks a lot, #Badgers,” and turned #cattywampus into a hashtag.

Christy said the best thing about the encounter was the surprise opportunity to share her profession with young people. “As a former athlete and the mom of two collegiate swimmers, I like when people get to see how articulate and intelligent and thought-provoking our young student-athletes can be,” she said, adding that she’s also involved in NCRA’s mentorship program. “I have been writing since 1988, and working at ASAP Sports has been so wonderful for me, because I get to write about what I know and love, and I get the opportunity to meet wonderful people like Nigel, Sam, and Frank along the way.”

Christy said that Hayes came up to her one last time just before the Wisconsin team left and gave her a hug. “I thanked him for shining a light on our profession, something not many people know or understand,” Christy said.

Here is a list of the media outlets that covered the story:

Nigel Hayes and his Wisconsin teammates are fascinated by the NCAA stenographer

According to a March 21 post on ESPN’s Men’s College Basketball Blog, three Wisconsin Badgers players discovered the NCAA captioner—NCRA member Toni Christy, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP—during a post-game news conference. The blog post includes a video clip of Christy’s impromptu steno demonstration for the players, which the Wisconsin Badgers also shared on Twitter. The story was picked up by dozens of other media outlets and blogs, including MSN.com; Time; Yahoo Sports; SB Nation; Fox 5 – KVVU (Las Vegas); channel3000.com (Wis.); the New York Post; Deadspin; and FanSided.

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Forgotten history: stenographer witnesses Lincoln’s death, impact changed his life forever

A July 31 article on the WUWM: Milwaukee Public Radio website focuses on a new book about James Tanner and his part in Civil War history. Tanner briefly fought in the Civil War until he lost both legs. After recovering, he joined the War Department as a stenographer. In 1865, Tanner took down Lincoln’s testimony while the president was on his deathbed.

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