In my previous article I introduced to you 6 Basic Tools Young Journalists Need To Excel at Their Career and as discussed 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.
Before the publication of the previous article I have had conversations with some of my colleagues on how much it would cost anyone on average to effectively practice media; as in getting the necessary tools to start.
Let me not go deeply into what necessitated that conversation but it is important I try to put out an estimate of how much it will cost on average to buy some of the journalists’ most important needs (professional tools) to kick-start his career.
I will try as much as possible to highlight the specifications of these products and their current price ranges. These will be limited to the six tools mentioned.
Lets get started.
1. Digital recorder: A digital recorder will enable you capture sounds and carry out interviews for later broadcast or write stories subsequently. In choosing a recorder, three basic things that really matter are the quality of sound, storage disk size and USB functionality.
On quality of sound, I will recommend a device that records solely in .mp3 format or and .wav format which I have realized overtime give the best output.
Storage disk size is also a very important factor you should consider in purchasing a digital recorder. My average digital recorder has a storage disk size of 8GB which is great for both starters and pros. With 8GB, you are able to record audio files to a combined length of between 60 and 130 hours (in various kbps in .mp3) or between 4 and 12 hours (in 16 or 24 bit in .wav).
For the purpose of convenience, USB functionality will make it easier for you to transfer your recorded audio clip to a computer easily.
Budget: GHs 80 – GHs 200.
2. Digital Camera: The most widely used and perhaps the most popularly digital camera brands are Canon, Nikon and Sony. They all have their strengths and weakness that are quite technical and confusing if you are newbie. I will recommend you look out for a digital camera with good flash properties to enable you take good photographs even at night. Also, choose one that allows you to take videos too. Some DSLR cameras do not have video functionality. A camera of 18 megapixels is a good enough start.
Budget: GHs 500 – GHs 1500
3. Laptop: It will be impossible to fully discuss in specifics the all you need in the best laptop computer to launch your journalism career. However, these are a few things noteworthy before you make the investment into a laptop you want to use primarily for your print or broadcast journalism. The Hard disk drive (HDD) size, RAM size, Operating system, processor type. I have changed and used quite a number of different laptops for my work in the past and so have a fair idea of which combination of specifications can serve the good purpose of news writing, reporting.
I will recommend the following: HDD (300GB or more), RAM size (3GB or more), Operating system (Windows 7 or higher) and Processor type (Intel) .
Budget: GHs 800 – GHs1,500
4. Internet modem: Almost all mobile network service providers (ISPs) in the country have mobile internet modems for sale however their speed and quality of service delivery differ. There are other dedicated ISPs who provide internet services via devices such as Mi-Fis, Wi-Fis, Routers and others.
Budget: GHs 60 – GHs300
5. Headphones: You want to get the best sound quality and be sure your ears are not going to have health problems afterwards.
Budget: GHs 60 – GHs100
6. Smartphone: Good camera, sleek look, appreciable internal memory size, strong battery life and enough RAM size. 2GB RAM, 13mp for back camera, 8GB or more for internal storage memory and 4000MAh of battery capacity (power efficient smartphones).
Budget: GHs 400 – GHs 650
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.