October 31, 2006 in Tech Talk
When I first started going out on interviews way back in the day, I took a reporter’s notebook – a long, slim pad of paper that fit easily into your hand – and a pencil or ball-point pen (pencils are better because ink runs in the rain, btw). Later, I would carry a mini-cassette recorder when I needed to double-check my notes on a long interview. Still later, I added a camera bag to the equation, filled with a 35mm camera, lenses, a flash, and extra batteries and rolls of film. #
Today, I think every reporter should have a gadget bag. #
These are the items that should go in that bag: #
- A digital audio recorder, to record interviews, background sounds, and notes about their observations.
- A small digital camera. I’m not talking an SLR here, but a Canon or Nikon that can fit in a coat pocket, to take mug shots, record short video shots at a breaking news scene, or catch an interesting photo for possible inclusion in the newspaper or online site.
- A laptop with a wireless connection, to blog or write stories, edit audio or download photos from an event and send them to the office. If this laptop can have a wireless cellphone internet card (EVDO) to connect to the Internet from a cell, all the better. The reporter can send back notes and stories from the event without having to search for a WiFi access point.
- A cell phone. I think this is becoming more and more standard, but it’s essential that reporters in the field be available for quick access to an editor, or vice versa.
Obviously, the laptop and cell phone are complicated from a financial standpoint, but the recorder and camera combined should cost no more than $600 for decent quality audio and good quality photographs. #
Other ideas? ##