I'm at 160 wpm and need to pass 2 JC and 2 QA before I can move on to the 180 speed level. I'm a little confused about how and when I should start focusing on captioning or if I should complete school and not worry about captioning until I finish and take my state test to become a reporter... any insight?

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I think it is a good idea to get your training and any certificates that you can as a court reporter. You can spend lots of time practicing television broadcasts at home while building your speed and simultaneously your caption dictionaries. I think CNN Headline News is excellent material for caption practice because the news is on a 30 minute cycle and within that time they will probably hit on sports and stocks and top stories of the day.

NCRA has a "caption accelerator" CD that is available on their Web site...or was it Stenograph product??? It is super.

I have two resources that I purchased: Captioning The Vitac Way and Jennifer Bonflilio's Captioners Handbook. I think a captioning manual of that sort is good for getting your mind wrapped around how dictionary setup and maintenance is accomplished for successful captioning.

I think testing on two-voice and, even better, four-voice, is really good groundwork for captioning. I know the 16 years I spent as an official reporter taking down multiple arguing voices really helped me not become easily flustered when captioning a lot of interrupted and fast conversation.

I say find some good captioning resources to augment your reporting training. If your state has a certification exam, I hope you plan to take it. Captioning is harder than court reporting in that you have NO time to edit or ask for any clarifications or obtain spellings for use after the fact. It is all right then and needs to be right RIGHT THEN! :D

But captioning is easier than court reporting because you don't have to deal with printing binding proofing mailing delivering carrying driving scoping hauling saving storing......................

So, I hope that helps some. Maybe you will get some different points of view as well.



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