The shorthand debate goes global – almost

Martin Stabe’s popular blog at the Press Gazette in the UK is carrying some interesting comments on the shorthand debate. Martin also links to another blog where the debate is also live.

Martin Stabe on shorthand

Charlie Beckett on shorthand

Charlie’s post ends with a nice line:

Those of us who have shorthand like to think that it is vital, but is it any more important than an ability to type fast enough for Twitter?

2 Responses to The shorthand debate goes global – almost

  1. truthseekernz says:

    When I was taught journalism in Canada almost 30 years ago, they did not include shorthand in the curriculum. We took notes any way we could. A couple of the old-timers on staff thought shorthand was worth learning, but tape recorders were making the skill obselete even then.

  2. Let’s ditch the Shorthand methods that the archaic NZ “system” insists upon! (One of the reasons I went to other countries for my education!) Note how it is mainly NZ that holds onto this old system, resuscitated by people who love doing squiggly bits of artwork! Most journalists are not so ‘artistic’ and get all the story facts without shorthand, especially with a combo of audio recorders and basic note taking. When shorthand was developed it wasn’t actually for journalists anyway… It was for secretaries and legal clerks. It has *ALSO* been proven that the time spent learning it, compared to *ACTUAL USE* today, it not in equal proportion, when considering the equally applied use of audio recording devices. However, there is still a need for a type of ‘shorthand’ (it has become a generic term) that is more related to how people jot down notes, aspects and structural outlines of stories. For this, there is a *SPECIAL* type of shorthand called ‘Personal Shorthand’ that is nothing like the torture of the original models (there are about 8!)… “PS” (Personal Shorthand) uses the normal alphabet!! I learned PS and it only took (about) a week to get really good results. The best week invested in my career to date. The books for PS are available from their copyright owners at: (or Amazon and specialist retailers). Don’t be fooled by their ugly green (26/6/09) website… The system is well developed from the 1950s-to-1980s and competes VERY well with the three other major players in the shorthand world.

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