Dear AAERT Colleagues,
AAERT’s motto is “The Record That Speaks for Itself.” It is more relevant today than ever.
I just reread the report released in December 2014 by Phil Knox and Peter Kiefer, entitled: Future of The Courts: The Next Ten Years Combined Survey Results Arranged by Theme Questions. 960 respondents representing court positions all across the United States ranked the probability (from “Highly Likely” to “Improbable “) of 116 different court-related scenarios occurring. Here’s a summary of the Highly Likely technology scenarios that pertain to us:
• Trial courts will use digital electronic recording systems.
• Remote interpreters will interpret by means of video conferencing.
• Virtually every court will become paperless. Courts will use electronic filing, convert documents to digital images, use intuitive SmartForms, store all content in digital format, and print only when needed.
• Electronic recording will become the official record.
What’s so unique about our method?
I borrowed from Comparisons: Court Reporting Methods, written by AAERT volunteers many years ago, added the new “near real-time” capability, and edited it slightly to account for advancements in digital recording technology. Here are the advantages of our method:
1. Our sound and video recording quality is crystal clear.
2. Transcribers can re-listen and type at their own pace for complete accuracy.
3. We offer both the certified transcript and the digital recording. The transcript can be verified, at any time, by listening to the audio or video recording.
4. Speakers' words are preserved in their real-life voices, which reveal speakers’ intonations, emotions, accents, and their delivery speed and manner.
5. The video recording, as in the State of Kentucky, could become the state’s official record.
6. The digital recording preserves both the foreign language speaker’s native language and the interpreter’s translation. Recording both enables the translation to be verified.
7. Because digital recording employs multiple microphones on separate tracks, two or more voices spoken simultaneously can be distinguished and transcribed.
8. Rapid-fire speakers can speak quickly and not “outrun” the recording. Their words will be completely recorded and transcribed.
9. One can “play back” the original voices of any prior portion of the record. Hearing and seeing the actual speakers is more powerful than hearing speakers’ text read back by a third party.
10. e-Reporting and e-Transcribing can be learned comparatively quickly.
11. Transcripts can be synchronized to the audio or video, which enables one to search for keywords and immediately observe and listen to the speakers.
12. Audio recordings can now be searched by ‘audio keyword,’— audio keyword to audio recording—without a transcript.
The developments in audio and video technology; computer and internet technology; and reporting and transcription technology have enabled e-Reporting and e-Transcribing to become the most efficient, effective, cost-effective method for capturing the record on all levels, in all markets, across the United States and around the world.
Volunteer your time with AAERT. Contact the office to learn how. By contributing just a couple of hours a month, you will gain knowledge, meet new colleagues, make friends, and become better at what you do.
Finally, this year the Executive Forum and Annual Conference will be combined for a great educational and networking opportunity. There will be CEUs available, vendors displaying their latest offerings, and the chance to meet industry leaders. The conference is scheduled from June 22nd to 25th , 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. I hope to see you there.
With best wishes,
Buck Ewing is president of Boston Court Reporters, the first e-Reporting firm in Massachusetts, and Cambridge Transcriptions, a recognized leader in recording, reporting, and transcription services. Since 2010 he has been a member of the AAERT Board of Directors and currently serves as the Association’s President.