President of New York State Court Reporters Association against direction NCRA board is going in

In the latest issue of "The Transcript," the president of the New York State Court Reporters Association comes out against the NCRA board of directors' exploration of electronic reporting.

To view the New York president's article, go to http://www.nyscra.org/documents/Summer%202009.pdf and view his article on page 3.

Also, there is a great article at Concerned Reporters on the NCRA board of directors' cherry picking the information it supplies the membership. To view Cherry Picking article, go to http://www.concernedreporters.blogspot.com/

Bill Parsons

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Thank you! Thank you, truly. Enough said.

On to the topic ... you know what? I always like to say, "Well, I know that water is wet, but I can't tell you when or how I learned that." I just know that water is wet. I totally understand how hard it is to backtrack to try to determine why we feel the way we do about things. If you would like to continue the conversation off the board, and you're comfortable with that, you can e-mail me at maryannrdr@earthlink.net, or realrealtime@gmail.com, either one.

I saw a GREAT BOOK the other day! It's along these same lines of forming opinions and having pictures in our mind of things. It was called something like, "Great Scenes From The History of the World," and every page contained a caption along the following:

"First Man On The Moon"
"Hiroshima"
"September 11, 2001"
"Pearl Harbor"

... and the like. EACH PAGE WAS BLANK, with the single solitary caption in black print below ... yet flipping through the book, reading the simple captions, I instantly called to mind a scene that fit the caption, and I saw that picture in my mind's eye.

I'll look for a message or e-mail at your convenience, whenever you're ready, Quyen.

M.A.
MA: You've got mail at maryannrdr@earthlink.net!
Here are the links to two articles that discuss the pros and cons of these professionals remaining in their big professional association. I hope you can read them:

Young Lawyers Caucus on the Issues But Can't Avoid Cost Questions from The National Law Journal

and

What's In It For Me? from the Connecticut Law Tribune.

Excellent reading.

M.A.
Well put, Mary Ann. I think any association of professionals is made stronger and more able to represent its workers by having a singular, solid base. In California, we have several splits from the major state association. I've heard through the grape vine that NCRA was really thumbing their nose a while back at our local association for continuously fighting the Electronic Recording threat in the courts. One reporter even mentioned to me that NCRA had told them "you can't win this fight forever", telling them in no uncertain terms that their association was going to lose their fight.

This same person made the good point that all of those other professions NCRA is trying to sneak in under its umbrella already have their own associations. How could it possibly benefit working stenographers to have OUR association helping to lend credibility to the competition, namely, Electronic Recording? Shouldn't their efforts be focused on spreading the good word about court reporters and improving their efficacy with education on technology and RealTime capability?

Hopefully there will be a real change of guard within NCRA in the coming years.
Thanks, Mike. As I said above or below, not sure where it's going to appear, I have the greatest respect for CA CSRs. That's one reason why I sat for the Boards and got a CA certification. You really make an excellent point, Mike ... in very few words, which is something I'm not famous for. There probably is a great need to have an umbrella association that represents every means and method of making a transcript ... but it's NOT best formed from the inside-out hijacking of NCRA. I think I can safely be in favor of an umbrella association, and also be in favor of that association NOT being NCRA. If it's going to be formed from NCRA, then the Constitution and Bylaws as well as the mission of the whole organization need to be changed. But as you pointed out, we all have our own associations spreading the good word about our individual methods. Take away NCRA, and we have absolutely no one fighting for us based on our method of takedown. And especially since steno has been beating down voicewriters and electronic transcribers for so very long, isn't it a bit of a stretch to think that those we've been disparaging and talking down to for so many years are going to flock to a re-formed and reconstituted national association that says, "Forget everything we said before. We like you now!" I just don't see it happening.

Do you have reporter friends and acquaintances who do not participate in message boards who have any idea about the MtR, or possible plans to turn NCRA into an umbrella association? Or do you think it's online hype and hysteria only?

M.A.
I've definitely heard this from people who are not participating in online forums. The disgust with NCRA isn't just coming from a few select sources in my (less than informed, student intern) opinion. It's easy to see why.

On it's face, seeking to include the competition into a relatively small organization just screams bad idea.
Heading out for breakfast (late), but wanted to comment that belonging to and actively supporting your state association is critical ... that's "your" as in your CA association(s), and that's "your" as in your Kentucky association, and "your" as in your Pennsylvania association, or wherever you're from. Can we be confident NCRA can represent 50 different jurisdictions with different issues? Only if they make sweeping generalizations that might -- might -- apply to all states. There is no way I'm trusting NCRA with my future, what limited future I have left in reporting, as I've already put in 32 years. It's time for reporters to start looking out for themselves individually, with or without NCRA. Decision to belong to NCRA shouldn't matter much, and a decision to remain in NCRA for as long as it can keep its nose above water, shouldn't be seen as overall acceptance of everything that NCRA stands for. I'm not planning on dropping out of NCRA, but I sure as hell don't subscribe to everything NCRA stands for, which includes plans to become an umbrella association.

Just a suggestion, but instead of looking for guidance from the top down, start from the bottom UP. Start with yourselves. Get better at what you do. Then get extremely good at what you do. Learn to market your skills in a cutthroat market. Learn the value of your services. Find a niche market where you can take care of yourself and ONLY yourself. Partner with a few trusted colleagues. Support your LOCAL associations, your state associations who really understand your issues.

For reporters, as it's always been, it's all about you now. But now, it's UP to you as well!

M.A.
M.A.,

It's not just that NCRA wants to become an umbrella association that EVERYBODY needs to start to take care of themselves, but the economy that we're in.

Definitely a great idea to join the state associations. Here's California's info:
Depo reporters: http://www.caldra.org/
Officials: http://cocra.org/
Everybody: http://www.cal-ccra.org/

Get out there and take care of yourself!

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