Why you might be interested in Intersteno 2013
Intersteno President Fausto Ramondelli explains why American reporters might have an interest in Intersteno next month in Belgium
The 2013 Intersteno Congress will be held July 13-19 in Ghent, Belgium. To provide NCRA members with a context for what Intersteno is all about, we recently conducted an interview with Intersteno President Fausto Ramondelli of Italy.
For someone who has never been to Intersteno, can you describe for us what the event contains?
Intersteno is an old and evergreen federation among country and professional associations related to the "reporting" profession, in its large sense, with particular attention to the court and parliamentary environments. It was founded in 1878 and has been constantly in tune with the evolution of the profession.
Every two years, Intersteno holds a Congress, each time in a different city, divided into two main events: the World Championships and the Conferences. The contests offer a place for testing new technologies and comparing abilities of students and professionals coming from various countries and with different expertise. The Conferences aim to expand the knowledge and the professional horizons of participants by means of presentations and workshops.
Tell us about yourself; what is your job and where do you work?
I have been serving as a Parliamentary reporter at the Italian Senate since 1982 with my steno machine Michela. I have also been a reviser and since 2001 I have been in charge of the summary report of the Constitutional Affairs Committee in that chamber.
How did you first become involved with Intersteno?
My first meeting with Intersteno was in 1985. I took part in the World Championship in Shorthand at the Congress held in Sofia (Bulgaria). Competing and meeting colleagues from other countries was challenging and stimulating for me, noticing that people reached high speed and accuracy through different techniques enlightened my mind and gave me a different perspective to my work activity. I joined the Italian association in the professional field and later I was appointed representative of the Italian group associated with Intersteno. In 2003, together with my friends, I organized the Congress of Rome when a new and modern Statute of Intersteno was agreed upon. In 2001, I was elected Intersteno President.
Many people in the United States think of Intersteno as a series of contests. Tell us about the contests, but also tell us what there is beyond the contests that would be of interest to stenographic court reporters?
Luckily, I would say, the Intersteno Congress is not only contests.
We want to provide an authoritative environment for the natural attitude of students and professionals of testing their capabilities. Speech capturing (formerly "shorthand") and text production (formerly typewriting), even with their names reflects our intention of welcoming all kind of techniques and technologies that demonstrate a fit for producing quality transcripts. We also hold competitions for multilingual capturing (champions take up to 16 languages) and text processing. In the next 49th Congress, we will introduce a new competition (audio transcription), taking into account that nowadays in a great part of the world transcribing an audio file with speed and accuracy is a largely practiced job.
Organizing competitions would be a short-minded goal if they were not accompanied, as they are, by a multicultural, scientific, and educational context. We try to concentrate in our conferences on the most advanced information and we try to share enhancements and best practices of the profession with the contribution of an international panel. The Intersteno Parliamentary and other professionals' Reporting Section (usually called IPRS) deals with these special and historical environments where the reporting profession was born and developed.
How has Intersteno changed in recent years?
Intersteno, after the Congress of Rome (2003), has opened itself to new professional groups, to companies, and to individuals following the common conviction that the reporting profession has a broader extension than what we have considered so far. American expertise has been one of our most useful elements. NCRA has brought us new opportunities and new ways of supplying the reporting products. Beginning from realtime subtitling and to the massive use of Internet technologies, such as web reporting or text/audio/video synchronization, we have learned much. On the other side, we have been more than happy to provide American colleagues with a vision on the complexity and richness of European and the world with regard to our profession.
If court reporters weren't interested in participating in a contest, would they still be able to attend Intersteno? Would they find enough reason to attend?
I never took part in an NCRA contest, though I found the NCRA convention very stimulating. Above all, I met new friends, and I was attracted by other ways of conceiving the reporting profession. Intersteno provides competition for all languages, with a huge effort focused on jury leaders and assistants who offer their time and expertise on a volunteer basis to conduct our contests. But even if you are not interested in competing in an international arena, you can find in the Intersteno Congress a unique professional and human experience. We have a rich program, and we favor the cooperation among various professional groups. Nowadays, with the larger use of IT, job opportunities are no longer isolated to one country, but they are really global. Intersteno is the forum where new professional initiatives can start and where a new global approach can be achieved. Yes, I think there is more than enough reason for those not interested in our contests to attend.
If a court reporter from the United States was interested in attending Intersteno in 2013, how would they find more information and how do they register?
Visit the Intersteno website at www.intersteno.org, which includes a large archive where you can find information about our history and mission, as well as about competitions and cultural events. Every two months we publish an e-newsletter that can be downloaded at the same site.
Registration for the next Congress (Ghent, Belgium 13-19 July 2013) is now open at www.intersteno2013.org. There, you can find all kinds of information about the program, the venues, and the tourist elements of the program.
At this moment 553 people have already registered from nearly 30 countries. Intersteno heartily welcomes American colleagues; they will be amazed by Intersteno people, as well as by the touristic program that the organizers have created.