Gadsden State student earns national scholarship

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyGadsden State Community College, Gadsden, Ala., announced in a press release issued Jan. 29 that Analisa Arnold is one of two students nationwide to earn the Student Intern Scholarship from the National Court Reporters Foundation. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and is offered to students who are enrolled in NCRA-approved court reporting programs and meet other requirements.

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Past NCRA member Allan Liljehult passes

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Hartford Courant reported on Jan. 16 that Allan Liljehult, West Hartford, Conn., a retired official court reporter and former member of NCRA, died Jan. 14 after a brief illness.

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Starting out in captioning: An interview with Chase Frazier

Chase Frazier placed in two legs of the 2017 National Speed and Realtime Contests

Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC, started out as a captioner, although his mother and brother, both already court reporters, were in the legal arena. Some recent graduates find going into captioning right away to be a good first step in their careers rather than spending time freelancing or interviewing for open officialships. The JCR Weekly asked Frazier to offer some thoughts on what is different if you plan to consider this option yourself.

What made you decide to go into captioning right out of school?

My realtime in school was exceptional for still being in school. I was realtiming qualifier-level tests for California while still in school. (The California realtime test presents four-voice 200 wpm for ten minutes.) Also, my teacher was kind enough to let me take normal tests as realtime tests. I would immediately email her my test while still in class, and she would print it at home and grade it. Getting that kind of feedback made me love realtime and love the challenge of trying to get every test even more perfect than the last. I still, to this day, try to get each captioning session better than my last.

What kind of equipment did you need to get to start out?

I needed my captioning software, a professional machine, and a modem. I was fortunate to have my parents give me the professional software and a professional machine as a graduation present.

Did you get any additional training before you started captioning?

I didn’t have any training. I researched on my own how to caption TV, the equipment needed, and what tweaks I needed to do to my dictionary. I googled captioning agencies and sent them all an email to try to work for them. None of them responded, except one. But that’s all I needed!

The one that responded vetted me by watching me caption to live news for 30 minutes a day for about a week. After that week, they said that I was good to go live and caption news.

What was challenging for you the first few times you captioned? What did you do to overcome that challenge?

Getting over my nerves was hard for me. It took me a week or two to not be nervous the first few minutes of the broadcast.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to start captioning from school?

I wouldn’t recommend intensely working on your realtime while in school. Focus on your speed. Your realtime will come with speed. If you can write 200, try to realtime a 160. There are a lot of tricks to improve your realtime.

Also, you don’t have to write out to caption. You can write however you want and have perfect realtime for TV. Just make sure to also have a strong group of prefixes and suffixes. People on TV make up words all the time.

If you want to get your realtime up to par, find a captioner and see if he or she will help you and watch you write once or twice a week. You can share your screen on Skype, and the captioner can watch you write to news. Have that person tell you everything that you can do to improve your realtime. It’s going to be damaging to your ego, but it’s great for your writing.

Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC, is a captioner in Murrieta, Calif. He can be reached at chaselfrazier@gmail.com.

Wyoming reporter Al Renneisen passes away

Al Renneisen, who worked for18 years as a court reporter, died Jan. 7 in South Park, Wyo. Renneisen worked with Judge Terrence O’Brien, who is now a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit. He was also a former member of the Jackson Hole News & Guide partnership group, the news source that posted the notice on Jan. 10.

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IN MEMORIAM: Cathleen M. (Annis) Burnham

Cathleen M. “Cathi” (Annis) Burnham passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59 at her home in Warwick, R.I., on Dec. 24, 2017. Cathi was instrumental in organizing the Rhode Island Shorthand Reporters Association, keeping its members apprised of upcoming seminars and events. Following in the footsteps of her aunt, Beulah Dixon, Cathi became the owner and operator of Allied School of Court Reporting, where she taught many students from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. More importantly, though, Cathi was known for her big heart. Members became part of her family, and she ensured that each and every one knew that her door was open for advice, guidance, and support. Cathi was truly an integral part of the court reporting profession.

NCRA member to host fundraiser

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyWAVY TV, Portsmouth, Va., reported on Jan. 10 that NCRA member Penny Commander, RMR, CRR, of Penny Wile Court Reporting is hosting Woofstock II to benefit the local SPCA.

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Effingham native finds fulfilling career as stenographer

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyNCRA member Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Caseyville, Ill., was featured in an article posted by the Effingham Daily News about her career as a stenographer. The article was also picked up by the Shelbyville Daily Union with the headline “Stenographer has a way with words.”

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Smith achieves court reporter certification

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Longview News-Journal reported on Jan. 7 that NCRA member Brenda Hightower Smith, RPR, CRR, from Longview, Texas, earned the nationally recognized Certified Realtime Reporter certification. The article was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Smith’s behalf.

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College football coach talks so fast, watching closed captions try to keep up is exhilarating TV

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklySBNation.com posted an article on Dec. 29 that interviews Kristen Humphrey, a captioner with ASAP Sports, about what it was like to caption Jimbo Fisher, the new coach for Texas A&M football, who was interviewed recently on ESPN.

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NCRA members show off speed at Cotton Bowl

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Star-Telegram, Dallas, Texas, posted an article on Dec. 28 about NCRA member Jennifer Schuck, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Scottsdale, Ariz.; NCRA member Darlene (Rodella) Pickard, RDR, CRR, CRC, Marysville, Wash.; and NCRA Director Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Nashville, Tenn. Schuck, Pickard, and Menck attended the Cotton Bowl college football game to transcribe media interviews with players and coaches.

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