Top gifts for journalists

A colleague emailed this week to ask if I have any gift suggestions for a friend of hers who’s about to start graduate studies in journalism.  Well, of course I do.  But I decided not to send her a list.

No, I’m not playing Grinch at this time of year.  I figured if one person was asking about gifts for journalists, other people might have the same question.  So I pulled together some of my favorite tools of the trade and journalism-related books and videos and made shopping easy by creating a Journalism Store, stocked with these “must haves:”

  • A pocket-sized, lightweight video camera. The Flip runs off two AA batteries, records in .avi format and exports via a built-in USB.  The new HD version, the Flip Mino (that’s right, HD) has a rechargeable battery.  Kodak’s HD competitor, the Zi6, is more expensive, but has a much bigger LCD screen.  All three are affordable, super-portable, and simple to operate.  Most of our YouTube videos have been shot with the basic Flip.
  • A digital voice recorder.  I use an Olympus that I’ve had for a few years.  The newer model is the WS-311M.  Add an inexpensive lav microphone and you can capture audio that’s plenty good enough for a podcast.
  • A do-it-all cell phone like the Nokia N95.  I’ve already written about how some news organizations have turned it into a palm-sized live truck. For what it’s worth, I definitely would have included Apple’s iPhone if  it were available through Amazon.  It’s not.

There’s plenty more, including solar backpacks and classic journalism movies. Check it out, and let me know if there’s anything on your wish list that I should add to the virtual shelves.

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