I had the honor of being in the same room with 14 court reporters that are reporting the Guantanamo Bay war trials for the United States of America. In my March 2012 blog, I posted an RFP by SAIC. The RFP looked daunting. Some of the line items for the court reporter(s) who would qualify for the job included top secret clearance, being willing to travel to “red” zones, and being a Certified Realtime Reporter.
The court reporters working the trials are known at GITMO as “the Stenos.” The Stenos’ job is to write a verbatim realtime transcript for the press corps in order to allow for transparency. The final transcripts are uploaded to a website on the same day as the testimony is given. (The official record is created by military court reporters.) The Stenos upload their transcripts to a website for the world to read.
Nancy Varallo of Court Reporting & Management Services assisted in putting the RFP together and put together a team of some of the most talented CRRs in the country.
This is not my story to tell. If you get a chance to be in an audience with the Stenos and hear about GITMO and the work they are doing, don’t hesitate to attend. At the end of the GITMO presentation at the NCRA convention in Philly, there was a standing ovation.
No machine can do what the GITMO Stenos are doing. When it comes to writing history, look for a court reporter.