I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time – but I’ve been really busy being a student journalist. Even though I’m finished my first year of my journalism degree at university, it does not mean that the news stops. I\m definitely going to do another what’s in my bag journalism student edition when I go back to university in September, but here’s the summer version!
First things first is the items I use to plan interviews and when I’m doing things post interview. Planning is key when interviewing as the questions you plan can prompt you and give you some focus when you are interviewing. You don’t want to look unprepared. Here’s the items I take for this stage!
So I take a planner, an address book (also known as a contacts book in the journalism sector) and an organiser/diary.
My planner is where I write my interview questions down. Sometimes I’ll write them on my phone, but mostly I like to have some prompts in my notebook. I sometimes like to put the press releases in here too so I can glance at them while I’m traveling to the interview.
If you’re wondering where this planner is from I got it from Whinfell Forest Centre Parcs last year. I can’t remember the price but on the official website it’s £7.64 (it’s normally £8.99).
The next thing is my contacts book – and this has been my best friend since I started in September. It’s not the lightest book in the world but it contains a lot of contacts. I’m writing all of the contacts I gained this year in it but I use it to get contact details of people just in case I want to contact them at a later date. It’s a helpful little book!
I got this from Ryman’s stationery and it was £11.99. I have inserts for them too – address book refills (£3.99) and business card holders which are £4.49.
And finally, I have an organiser. This was gifted to me and I use it as a reminder of where I’m going, who I’m going to interview, why and when. It’s only small but it makes a big difference.
Moving onto audio and sound. Being able to hear what you are recording when you are videoing and being able to hear interviews when you are travelling back and editing them. It’s really important for me to have two sets.
I use my Sennhesier HD 205 II headphones (left) for recording video interviews. I can move one of the pads so I’m able to hear what I’m recording and the outside world at the same time. They’re really handy. I got them for Christmas last year so again I don’t know the price.
I also use the headphones during the editing stage as they are noise-cancelling. It means I can focus on the video or audio I’m editing!
I use the Apple headphones for editing on my phone on the move. Sometimes I have to send audio back to the news room so I have to be able to edit things quickly if needed. I also use these when I’m using my mobile to get audio.
This brings me onto audio…
I sometimes use my dictaphone if I don’t want to use my mobile phone. My mobile phone may be low on charge so I use a dictaphone instead. I have the Sony PX440 Digital Voice Recorder which was £44.99.
In order for the audio to be clean I use a “muff” – that’s the item in the centre. I pop it on top of my dictaphone or my phone and it gets rid of wind etc.
I sometimes use a clip-on microphone for the interviewee too, but that’s when I’m using my dictaphone and the weather is bad!
As a student journalist I’m also expected to do photography and film (if needed). This means I need a camera, lenses and some extra kit. I choose to have my own but you can always use your university’s kit.
I have a Nikon DSLR (I didn’t picture it as it goes into a separate bag) and use a standard VRII lens that came with the camera.
I also use a Tamron macro lens (pictured above) with the hood on. I got the camera and lens for Christmas as well as the charger (pictured right).
I use an ultraviolet filter too if it’s really sunny. This was also a Christmas present so I don’t know how much it was.
Mobile journalism or MoJo as it’s sometimes called is an upcoming concept in journalism. Sometimes all I’ll have with me is my phone and if something breaking happens when I’m out an about I need something quick. This is where the two tools below come in.
The first one is a tripod which also doubles up as a “selfie stick.” It was the perfect purchase as it was only £1 from Poundworld. It’s extendable and is flexible too so it’s great for getting difficult shots. I use this when I’m doing Facebook Live and Periscope videos when I’m on location too.
The second item was also from Poundworld so it was a pound! It’s a camera remote for your phone. Sometimes all I need are some quick photos so I won’t be using my headphones. I just pop this into my headphone socket, put on my camera and then click. Voila!
Once the interviews have been done and edited I like to store them somewhere. I use a 1TB Seagate hard drive (pictured below) I got mine from Maplin and it was £54.99. It’s the perfect size to fit into my bag and is portable so I’ll always have my footage and my raw and edited audio and photos with me.
I also take my laptop and its charger as well as my phone charger too. I take a spare memory card and a spare jack too just incase. I’ve learnt as a journalist to always have spares. Technology isn’t always reliable!
Last but not least I’ll have my tripod with me too! It may seem like a lot but it gets the job done!
And that’s what’s in a journalism student’s bag in the summer.
What’s in your bag as a student? Let me know in the comments section or on my social media accounts.