What they do
Machine shorthand reporters (transcript typists) document court and parliamentary proceedings, television broadcasts, and meetings or conferences, and translate them into written records. They make verbatim (word for word) recordings of these proceedings using keyboards or stenotype machines, and they may also operate audio recording equipment. They may be required to read portions of transcripts aloud during trials on request from the judge. Transcript typists also prepare reports and letters, as well as other documentation for publication or electronic transmission. Transcript typists work mostly in Western Australia's cities and large towns, where the State's courts, Parliament House, television broadcasters and larger companies are located.
Transcript typists work in courtrooms, parliaments, and at other official proceedings such as board meetings or conferences. They may work for state or federal governments, private contracting firms, or as independent contractors. Their work hours usually depend on the type of event or proceeding they are transcribing - while court and parliamentary proceedings take place during regular business hours - board meetings, conferences and conventions often take place outside regular hours. Transcript typists may be exposed to confidential information and must maintain confidentiality at all times.
Tools and technologies
Transcript typists use shorthand-writing machines, computers with word processing and digital transcribing software, and other office equipment. They may also use tape recording equipment, and access reference materials, such as the Internet and specialist legal search engines.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as a machine shorthand reporter without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.
However, entry into this occupation may be improved by completing a course in machine shorthand. The Steno School in South Australia offers a machine shorthand course through distance education. Contact The Steno School for more information.