As a Certified Shorthand Reporter and Certified Realtime Captioner, Kim Johnson’s journey in the industry has taken her from live newsrooms to remote settings, capturing the spoken word and transforming it into accessible text for a diverse audience. We asked her to spare a moment of her busy life and share her thoughts about her career, her transition from court reporting to CART captioning, and the significance of finding joy both in work and personal pursuits.
We enjoyed seeing the photos you shared from the CLC Convention in Montreal. Was this one of the biggest captioning jobs you have done? If not, do share your other experiences.
That CLC job was definitely the largest onsite job I have done. I believe there were 4,000 delegates at that convention. Although I have certainly captioned large remote events for Veritext since joining the Neesons captioning team in the summer of 2019, I did spend 7 years before that on the broadcast side of the captioning industry where I captioned live news and sporting events. The majority of my captioning career has been done completely remotely from the comfort of my own home and I almost never get to see the end user or ever really know just how many are watching me work. Montreal was a “wow” moment for me for sure!
What drew you to the industry of captioning, CART, court, and the Court Reporting and Captioning program at NAIT generally in the first place?
I always knew I wanted to do something involving the legal profession. At the time in the mid ’90s when I was investigating careers, my mom worked at an answering service and one of their clients was a court reporter. I made a phone call and did some career investigation and now here I am almost 25 years in. Early on I realized that I enjoyed the writing part of the job much more than the producing transcripts part. I was lucky because the firm I was working for had a CART contract with a post-secondary institution in the city, so I made the jump from court reporting to CART/captioning.
What advice do you have for anyone looking for a new career? What is the best way to find out if this is the field for them?
Advice for anyone looking for a new career? Your career is not necessarily who you are but it does occupy a great deal of your time, so do something you enjoy.
My suggestion for someone who is thinking of entering this field (either court reporting or captioning) is to reach out to one of us and maybe even job shadow. We are all more than happy to talk about the pros (and cons) of this profession. I would also recommend checking out the NCRA A to Z Intro to Steno online program.
Lastly, wellness and self-care are important to our team. Do you have a favourite way to recharge, or can you share any tips for staying healthy mentally and physically, both at work and at home?
It’s critical to have hobbies and interests outside of work. I’m a runner and I enjoy doing yoga. My husband and I have a 10-month-old basset hound puppy (Agnes) and keeping her out of trouble takes up a lot of my time these days!
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