Is shorthand still relevant in the digital age? You bet it is.
The point is brilliantly made in this video produced by BSkyB for the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
- January 20, 2020
- June 27, 2017
- November 2, 2016
In it News International editorial development director Graham Dudman says that The Sun publisher took on four graduates last year and is taking on another four this year, and that all have their 100 words-per-minute shorthand. He said that a journalist without shorthand is like a footballer without boots – "it's not going to happen".
"It's essential for accurate court reporting. Without it you are a potential liability to your newspaper and we don't want you in the newsroom."
Eminent broadcasters are also among those contributing to the video, including Sky's Alex Crawford: "Shorthand will get you out of big do-do…It's one of the dull things that you have to do so that you are able to do this fantastic job."
News correspondent for the BBC June Peel said: "It's as valuable now as it ever was…You get a lot of people now tweeting in court, but you can't take down a full note of what's being said if you're Tweeting 140 characters."
The bottom line for any aspiring journalist is that without it, many potential employers (such as NI's Dudman) will put your CV straight in the bin.