In the past two months I have spent time working with and monitoring the progress of some volunteers who have joined my media organization to receive training that will enable them succeed in Ghana‘s media terrain as multimedia journalists.
It is often the case that most people in pursuing a dream career, are more concerned about the passion and the opportunity to learn or practice. Unfortunately, they forget about the basic tools they need to make their pursuit worthwhile.
The fact that excelling in journalism has more to do with practice requires that anyone interested in the practice acquires the relevant tools and requisite knowledge to help them succeed at it.
In this piece, I present to you six (6) basic tools I think, student/young journalists need to launch or and enhance their work and ensure they excel.
1. Digital Recorder: Whether you are training for print, online or broadcast journalism, you will need importantly, a digital recorder to enable you capture sounds and carry out interviews for later broadcast or write stories subsequently. In some cases, it is helpful in defending journalists against legal actions especially in cases where the respondent falsely claims he/she never said something you have accurately reported.
2. Digital Camera: 21st century journalism, is more than ever demanding journalists who can serve their followers both audio and visuals. Even for print media houses and radio stations, it has become necessary to create social media platforms to serve quality images in addition to sounds and texts to help the follower get a full understanding of what is being reported. Indeed, photos often speak more than text. You can get a good digital camera to complement your work.
3. Laptop: This probably is the first you may want to invest in. The laptop today is doing what pens and were paper did several years ago. The laptop enables you to type, print, easily proofread, store and organize your materials without stress. For radio and television broadcasters, it is an asset for editing your audio or video materials.
4. Internet modem: Journalism thrives on information and so it is crucial that journalists find ways to connect with people to get the right information. With an internet modem, you are able to easily communicate with your work colleagues and correspond with guests or informants. In fact, information now travels at the speed of light and so journalists must be seen leading with the news especially when it has to do with publishing a breaking news or update via the internet; that is done on the go and the modem will help you do that perfectly without delay.
5. Headset: It’s not trivial. Whether it is to get information on radio, listen to a recorded interview or help to edit your audio or video clips, headsets are very relevant to a journalist’s work. Don’t forget some need it to listen to their favorite music to arouse some interesting story ideas.
6. Smartphone: Investing in a good smartphone is one of the best investments one can ever make in launching his journalism career. Indeed a smartphone can help you carry out most of your journalistic tasks faster, conveniently and readily. It comes in handy as your notepad, organizer, recorder, digital camera and internet modem. Indeed, like the laptop, you can download and install various applications that make journalism easier. It is one amazing communication tool you certainly need as a student journalist ready to launch into mainstream.
For many of you, your fear may be the cost of these gadgets and what strain it can put on your pockets. You definitely need to make painful financial investments but don’t let that hold you back. There are a various types of the tools mentioned and each come at various prices. There are very good options at very affordable prices.
I will cite in my next article the ‘lowest’ prices you can get the the aforementioned tools.
Get ready for the best experience in journalism. Cheers.
The author of this article, Jonas Nyabor, is a multimedia journalist with over 5 years’ combined experience in online and radio broadcasting. He takes keen interest in social and human development stories and loves the adventures in journalism. He currently serves as Deputy News Editor and Online News Editor at Radio Univers 105.7MHz and consults for various Non-Governmental Organizations in Ghana. He is also the founder and editor of LeadersGH.com and 233livenews.com.