A Christmas To Record | 10 gifts student journos should have on their list.

10 Dec

It is that time of year again to start making your holiday wish list. For the student journalists out there I have complied a list of 10 items you might want to think about jotting down.

  1. Camcorder | You can find a number of different quality camcorders today ranging from $40 up to $3,200. As journalism moves rapidly into new media it never hurts to have a few extra skill sets in your arsenal. Give a journalist the tools to break breaking news downtown with their new camcorder.
  2. Smart phone | Keeps you updated and in the loop for the fast paced media world. With a bunch to choose from you can decide what is the best suited for your needs. The iPhone has the most apps and has proven to be the most popular choice, but others like Blackberry and the Droid are quality smartphones as well.
  3. Digital Camera | Cameras are great for many things and as a journalist it doesn’t hurt to know how to use one sufficiently, even if you aren’t a photo journalist. As a journalist your job is storytelling and learning to do that with still frames is a wonderful skill. Not to forget most digital cameras today allow you to take video footage too.
  4. Adobe Software | Photoshop is the basic ‘must-have’ program that can help make unique projects plus branch out on editing skills. Having the ability to use Adobe software before heading into the work force puts anyone ahead. I can almost guarantee at some point every multimedia journo will be asked to use Photoshop. Wanting a bit more? Check out Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, or Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium. Both include Photoshop plus software to design and work fluidly across any form of media. Either Creative Suite is on my wish list. * Remember students also get a large educational discount on Adobe software; gift givers remember this to save a few hundred dollars.
  5. Messenger bag or briefcase | We need something to lug around our masses of notepads, journals, pens and tech stuff. Basically there is always a need for organizing the chaos.
  6. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law by Norm Goldstein | Whether they are struggling through Composition 101 or writing an assignment at their new internship, this book is always ready to help guide the inner creative genius. It contains a 40-page section on media law, guides for punctuation and bibliographies, and specialized glossaries for business and sports writing, all in addition to its 280-page generalized stylebook. The 2011 edition is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
  7. Final Cut Pro | It’s the first choice for professional editors and most journalism students are being taught how to use this program in the classroom today, and if not taught, expected to learn. Help tackle all the footage shot with a new camcorder using Final Cut Pro.
  8. Professional Membership | Students could use the help from professionals, other students, and any given opportunity available, such as workshops; make that happen with a membership to one of the many journalism organizations. Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association (which I currently hold a membership in), and Radio Television Digital News Association are three I recommend checking out.
  9. Digital Audio Recorder | Even diligent note takers might need to try out a audio recorder during the next interview. It can provide assistance when searching for that perfect quote at the end of the deadline when the chicken scratch no longer resembles handwritten notes.
  10. iPad | I’m guessing this may be on quite a few wish lists already. Who could resist this piece of technology that can access email, help throw a keynote presentation together, store a library, and provide a platform to write and create on the go. Take a closer look at the product here.

Bonus: Subscription to a favorite media source | Magazine hoard, movie critic, or fan of reading the newspaper everyday? All media addictions require a subscription of sorts. Budget friendly and it will provide great entertainment for most journos.

A few other great lists for the journalist in your life:

My 2010 holiday gift guide for independent online journalists By Robert Niles.

10 must-have gifts for journalists: 2010 Edition By Mark S. Luckie


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