What I wish I knew my second year as a court reporter - scopists

Scopists are here to make your life easier. There are good scopists out there and bad.

Scopists see all sorts of writers. Don't worry if your transcript is horrible, unless it is horrible on a consistent basis. Then worry. But seriously, scopists are not here to judge how good or bad a writer you are. If you are a truly horrible writer, they will either refuse to take work from you or charge you an arm an a leg.

I don't care what they say. Everyone has drops, except for maybe Mark K. (you know who I mean.)

Don't think your transcript has to be perfect before you send it to the scopist. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a scopist. Then you need a proofer.

When should you start looking for a scopist? Well, I didn't use one my first year. I was learning my software, learning how to put out a good transcript. I was spending time getting a really good grasp of the mechanics of producing a transcript. I probably didn't get a scopist until my second or third year as a reporter. If you don't have a firm grasp of how you want something to look or your "own" style in producing transcripts, it's hard to answer someone else's questions.

Part II - scopists will be about where, when, and how.

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Comment by Sharla Preciado on September 23, 2009 at 14:44
I'm looking forward to it. Thanks!
Comment by Kyung on September 23, 2009 at 14:40
I always proof after my scopist goes through it. I'll be covering those topics in my part two of scopists, so stay tuned.
Comment by Sharla Preciado on September 23, 2009 at 9:00
It took me 8 months to relinquish control and allow someone else to proof my work. Now I've had a proofer for 9 months. Maybe it's time to let go a little more. I think if I had a scopist, I would want to proof; otherwise, it just seems like it's out of my hands too much and I'd feel sketchy about signing the cert, unsure of the quality of the transcript. Do you proof yourself after using a scopist? And would you mind telling me what a good rate and turnaround time is for a scopist? Thank you.
Comment by Kyung on September 22, 2009 at 18:41
Well, instead of going through the whole job yourself, the scopist would go through the job for you. And all you could send it to the proofer or you can proof it yourself.
Comment by Sharla Preciado on September 22, 2009 at 17:51
Yes, I do use a proofer. I send it to her after I've gone through the whole job myself.
Comment by Kyung on September 22, 2009 at 6:47
Sharla, do you use a proofer or do you proof yourself?

If you use a proof, when you get home from the depo, do you send your job straight to the proofer or do you "clean" it up?
Comment by Sharla Preciado on September 21, 2009 at 13:55
Kyung, I've been thinking about using a scopist because I've got a year and a half under my belt now, but I'm a little confused as to what exactly a scopist does as opposed to a proofer. My understanding of a scopist is someone who translates from steno to English, but if CAT software has already done that, then what are they doing exactly? Are they just cleaning up the untranslates? Are they listening to the audio? Please explain.

And do you need both a scopist and a proofer, or does a scopist also proof their work?
Comment by Kyung on September 21, 2009 at 6:36
No. I figured maybe a lot of newer reporters didn't know what a scopist was for or how to find one. And I'm sure a lot of reporters think that, oh, my stuff is not good enough to send out and then they are pleasantly surprised.

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