The Guardian

College of Court Reporting est. 1984

January 2018

CART v. TV Captioning: What I've learned in the Last Year

By CCR instructor, Chris Crosgrove
  • Skill Sets
The skill sets for broadcast captioning and CART are very similar. Both require high accuracy. CART providers and broadcast captioners must be quick thinkers, able to paraphrase when necessary; they must be able to troubleshoot hardware and software issues; and they must be able to control nervousness and other emotions.

  • Scheduling
If one is an employee of a captioning company, the company might ask the employee to provide a block of time the captioner wishes to devote to working. During those blocks, the captioner has little control over his schedule. When scheduled to caption a show, the captioner must either caption or give the show to another captioner on the staff - if there is someone willing to take it. This is usually not a huge problem, but occasionally a show won't be picked up, and it is still the captioner's responsibility to caption the show.

There is some speculation here, but broadcast captioner working as an independent contractor will probably have more control over the shows he captions because the captioning company is more likely to post a list of available events via email or a scheduling site, and the ICs volunteer to caption the shows they wish to caption. Of course, the company may have devised another method to accomplish the task of covering the schedule. One should ask about this issues when investigating a captioning company.

  • Rates
Rates in CART can vary fairly widely depending on the provider's skill level, the subject matter of the event, and the degree to which the transcript is "cleaned up." For instance, most events' transcripts are simply read through and obvious errors corrected, either by listening to the dictated recording (for a voice writer) or comparing to steno notes (for steno writers). If the transcript is to be compared to the ambient audio of the event and perfected, that costs and pays more. The type of event can also be a factor. For instance, if the even to ve delivered over an educational platform that the company's software doesn't normally access, it might pay more. Other factors, such as certifications, might also weigh into the calculation of what a provider a paid, though this practice is not necessarily universal.

I have found IC rates ranging from $40/hr to $100/hr plus. Onsite CART usually pays more than remote CART, especially if the CART will be projected onto a large screen.

  • Parentheticals or Sound Descriptors
While they can vary and might be created on the fly, most sound descriptors for television can be short and sometimes a little ambiguous. For instance, one captioner might display [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ], while another might display [ CHEERING ]. is there really a difference between those two? If people are cheering, aren't they probably applauding?

Sound descriptors CART providers use tend to be, well, more descriptive. For instance, if something is inaudible because the speaker is some distance from the microphone, the CART provider may display [Away from microphone]. If it is clear that the instructor is writing on te board, the provider may display "On board" so that the customer knows to look at te board instead of trying to follow the text. [Audio distorted], [The activitiy was performed], etc. are sound descriptors I use in CART that I never did in boradcast captioning.

  • Transcript
Transcript production for broadcast captioners is quite rare. However, a transcript (sometimes called "notes") of each CART event is usually provided to the CART company to the customer or both. Different companies have different protocols. The production is usually cursory, and the transcript is called "rough." This can mean cleaning up untrans for a steno writer, and reading through the text and fixing obvious misrecognitions for the voice writer. However, sometimes a more stringent transcription is desired, and in these cases, the event is usually more lucrative.

  • Invoicing
If one is new to being an independent contractor, the invoicing process can be challenging; most companies have their own systems and form preferences; some companies require the provider to enter their data into a "database" system, and paychecks are computed from that. Of course, if one has employee status with a company, the company will compute paychecks, deductions, etc.

For the full article, please contact Nicky Rodriquez.


Welcome to The Guardian version of the Job Drawer! Each month we'll highlight some jobs that are currently advertising vacancies while taking special note in our "Indiana Spotlight" of Indiana court reporting agencies, courts, captioning services, or CART providers that are interested in hiring.

Indiana Spotlight: Summit City Reporting, Inc.

Summit City Reporting is happy to announce they have openings for freelance reporters and would love to hire! Please contact Tonya Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, and President of Summit City Reporting, Inc. for information on joining their team!

T: 260.486.3954 | 800.977.3376

203 W. Wayne St., Suite 406 | Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 |

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PLEASE NOTE: Many Indiana agencies are looking to hire court reporters! Contact Natalie Kijurna at if you have any questions or want more information.

  • Transcriptionist, Allegis Transcriptions, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Transcriptionist, scribie, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Realtime Captioner/Transcriber/Editor, Aberdeen, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Transcribers (Captioners)/Proofreaders/Editors, ASC Services, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Realtime Captioner/Captioning Editor, CaptionMax, Minneapolis, MN, Burbank, CA, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Transcriptionists, RNK Productions, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • English Transcript Editor, 3PlayMedia, remote

Please click here for more information.​

  • Realtime Captioner, Archive Reporting & Captioning, remote

Please click here for more information.

  • Offline captioner/Realtime Captioner, VITAC, remote
Please click here for more information.

Attitude Is Everything—Here’s How to Keep It Positive

By John C. Maxwell

"Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction."

Attitude can be our best friend or worst enemy, the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present and the prophet of our future. In short, I believe attitude is the biggest determinant of our quality of life.

There are people who seem perpetually perky and whose good nature appears as innate as their eye color. But attitude is not a fixed state. Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction. It’s never too late to change it. If your attitude is deflating you, here’s how to pump it up.

1. Evaluate your current attitude.

This is the hardest step in the process. You need to detach from yourself and take a hard look at how you respond to situations.

  • Identify your problem feelings. What attitudes make you feel most negative about yourself?
  • Identify your problem behaviors. What actions create conflict between you and others?
  • Identify your problem thinking. What thoughts cloud or control your mind?

2. Write a statement of purpose.

If your biggest flaw is impatience with others, for example, vow to take a deep breath, listen to them more carefully and develop empathy—an ability to see situations through other people’s eyes. If your downfall is complaining, learn to smile, speak positive words, or if all else fails, silence yourself entirely.

3. Find new words.

If you were trying to motivate other people, you’d pump them up, wouldn’t you? You’d offer words of support, encouragement, and inspiration.

Do you do the same for yourself? So many people I’ve met—people with tremendous potential—shortchange themselves with a self-defeating internal voice. I can't. I doubt. I don’t think. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid. I don’t believe.

This self-doubt darkens our attitudes, limits our success, and casts a shadow over our lives. The fix is easy: Change the language. I can. I expect the best. I know. I’ll make the time. I am confident. I believe.

4. Rewire your thought patterns.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns.

It’s our thoughts, not our circumstances, that determine our happiness. Often, people are convinced they will be happy when they attain a certain goal. When they do, they are surprised and disappointed to discover that they don’t feel fulfilled. What they don’t realize is the act of filling one’s mind with good thoughts every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives, will bring more overall satisfaction than the one-time high of a job well done.

5. Develop good habits.

An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought. Habits aren’t instincts; they’re acquired actions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. Many people allow their habits to control them. That’s good if the habits enhance our quality of life. If not, well, life becomes cloudy indeed. You can change your habits. Here’s how:

  • List your bad habits.
  • Determine the root cause(s) behind them.
  • Determine a positive habit to replace a bad one.
  • Take action to develop that.
  • Act upon this new habit daily.
  • Reward yourself by noting one of the benefits of this new habit.

I see habit change as a process, so don’t dismay if you don’t see results overnight. The early stages will be the hardest. Those bad habits want to remain in control. In the middle stages, you’re on the proverbial fence, deciding whether to step fully onto the other side or tumble back into your old ways. In the late stage, you’ve successfully corrected a flaw and are enjoying the attitudinal shift that comes with it. But beware: Complacency is the enemy. Just ask anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back.

Back to that Gatorade commercial, where tennis great Serena Williams looks dead-on at the camera, steely-eyed. Her secret to victory was being “on the wrong side in the biggest upset of your sport,” a reference to her stunning fall in the 2015 U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy.

Two years later, she became the only tennis player, man or woman, to win 23 singles Grand Slam titles in the Open era.

“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life—got to learn to keep smiling,” she says. “If you smile, things will work out.”


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