Court reporters are extremely important. They are often responsible for forming the only legal records of important occurrences. These records are used to support the evidence establishing a claim or defense, a right or responsibility, or an agreement between parties.
A court reporter not only records verbatim what is being said, but they also note who was speaking and physical gestures that are made that are of importance or help describe the scene. They are not only listening and recording what is being said, they are also making notes of what can be seen (to an extent) as well.
But, trained court reporters not only work in the courtroom. They are also employed by lawyers (in firms under private contracts) to record meetings, depositions, and dictation. They also work as medical transcriptionists.
Another role that they play that is very important is that of captioner. A captioner may work for the government, television station, or as a freelancer for a corporation.
Whatever the role, they all are of importance. The written word taken from a proceeding in an accurate and unbiased manner can be invaluable.
Court reporters are very talented and intelligent people. They must be focused, driven, detail oriented, and organized. They also must be able to handle stressful situations and not lose focus and patience when under pressure.
Becoming a court reporter does not require an extensive amount of time to attend school, and it is not extremely expensive, but it does require hard work and dedication.
Transcripts made by court reporters can hold the information needed to turn a decision in court, offers a hearing impaired person the option to understand what is happening on TV, and can bring captions of important conferences to locations across the globe in real time.
There are other ways to record what is being said in the courtroom, but tape recorders and other technology cannot offer the same reliability and intelligence of a human being. Court reporters are highly trained and efficient and are able to see what is happening and note who is speaking as well as understand what is being said even if there is background noise or movement in the room.
All in all court reporters are indispensable parts of the courtroom as well as many other parts of society. Without them we would not have the ability to have accurate, legal, and unbiased documentation of many important proceedings.