Can any of you answer a stupid question for me? I keep seeing the term "full audio" in other scopists' descriptions of the work they do, and this has me worried that the term means something other than what it sounds like. In my roughly two years as a scopist, every job I've had involved an audio recording of the deposition. Is that what's meant by "full audio"? Are there transcripts that don't include audio? Or is there a type of audio that isn't "full"?

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I don't think that's a stupid question.  Anyway, the way I understand it is "full audio" is listening to every word, word for word, and editing as close to the audio as you can.  "Not full audio" (although I've never heard it called that) means to just listen to Audiosync when you can't read the outline.  Full audio takes a lot more time; therefore, costs more.  Make sense?

I see. Yes, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. Turns out "full audio" is the only way I've ever scoped a transcript. "Not full audio" sounds more like proofing, because that's how I proof a transcript. Thanks again.

I think they are advertising they will transcribe a transcript with the audio, not just portions.  I think there are scopists that would prefer not to transcribe with audio because it may take longer.  I'm a reporter, so I don't know if I'm correct or not. 
And, yes, there are transcripts without audio because not all reporters record voices.

Judy Porter is correct.  I usually have my scopist do a "spot check" and that means just listen to the audio where you think something is missing or reads funny, not a full listen.  However, today my witness talked super fast and had an Australian accent, so for sure full audio on him; I need a second pair of ears for him.

Okay. That's good to know. Thanks, Kelli.

Okay. Another question. Do scopists charge a different rate to spot check than they would for full audio?

Yes, most scopists charge more for full audio than for spot checking.  A lot have three different rates: no audio, spot checking and full audio.

And if you're using audio during proofing because the reporter wants you to, you should be charging more than a regular proofing rate for that.

I've been charging $1.25/page and double for expedites on everything. Can you tell me what other scopists typically charge?


Here's a poll that was taken last year:

I believe you'll find a lot of your answers there.

I pay my scopist 1.00 for spot checking and 1.25-1.30 for full listen.  That's usually because of an accent and I need someone else to listen to it, or someone is talking way to damn fast. 

I would never pay 1.25 for spot check, since when I give my jobs to my scopist, I've already cleaned the job up to send a rough to the attorney; all names are put in, all untranslated words are taken out.  The job is in great shape.  I don't think 1.25 is a fair price for my quality of work.

However, if you are doing tons of cleanup and having to fill in a lot of drops, that's a different story.  Also, I don't think a scopist that only has two years' experience should be charging such a high price.  My scopists have been scoping over 15 years and they don't even charge me that.

These are all interesting revelations.

I was recruited into scoping by my cousin, who is a court reporter, and with the exception of a few scoping jobs, all of my work has been for her. I am now learning that she has left out many key details. The $1.25 rate was her suggestion, but she never indicated to me that there are different levels of scoping, each with their associated rates. I should also add that all of her transcripts require "tons of cleanup and having to fill in a lot of drops," so maybe that's why she was paying me so much. With such a limited frame of reference, it's hard to know. Her transcripts all include either fast talkers or lots of cross-talk. Maybe she only sends me the hard ones. I don't know. She also claimed that she was training me so that I would be prepared for any scoping assignment that came my way. Needless to say, I am disappointed that she left out so much valuable information.

Perhaps if I had known that it would take at least 15 years to achieve the $1.25 rate, I wouldn't have pursued this line of work. I had previously worked as an editor for magazines and newspapers, which is why she recruited me. As you may know, the newspaper and magazine industry isn't hiring the way it once did, so I was happy for the opportunity. I think I will forward this thread to her along with a request for clarification. She is a member here, though I see there isn't any recent activity on her page.

Thanks to all of you for the information.

I haven't heard of a scopist charging less than 1.25 a page for full audio, even a new scopist.

An excellent realtime reporter like Kelli who needs very little cleaning up is not going to be using a new scopist.  You are probably going to end up with new reporters who require more work.  If you are filling in drops and making tons of changing, I think 1.25 is very fair.  Hope that makes sense.


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