Equipment checklist for radio and online journalists
When you’re working as a news and current affairs reporter, you need to be fast. Sometimes I get a call asking for a story and literally leave the office at a run because the deadline is so tight. Because of this, I have an equipment checklist hanging next to my desk. That way, I don’t leave something behind and end up looking red-faced because of it.
Believe me, in the past I’ve forgotten things such as my microphone cable or spare batteries. Running off to buy replacements in the middle of a story is not only totally unprofessional, if you are somewhere more isolated without a shop around, you’re in big trouble.
Check out the reporter’s checklist below, and if you want to print off a copy, here’s a PDF version of the Reporter’s equipment checklist.
- 2 x pens: You never know when one is going to give up the ghost. Always take two.
- Notebook: Essential. I’m always surprised how many journalists go out without one.
- Camera: Is the battery fully charged and the memory card inserted. Do you have enough space on the memory card?
- Spare camera battery: Check that it’s charged.
- Audio recorder: Is the battery fully charged and do you have enough space on the memory card?
- Spare recorder battery: Check that your spares are charged.
- Spare memory card
- Microphone and windscreen
- Microphone cable
- USB stick: Sometimes people have photos or documents relating to your story that they can give you then and there. I find it easier to put these straight on a USB stick rather than relying on them to email them to me.
- Telephone numbers and addresses: Your train might be late or you might get lost and need directions. Don’t forget to write the contact details in your phone or put the information in your notebook so you can call your interviewee.
- Printout of map: Even though I have Google maps on my phone, I always print off a street map of the area where I’m going before I walk out the door. I find it saves me huge amounts of stress.
- Rail/bus pass
- Business cards
- Bottle of water
- Chewing gum
Written by Kate Hairsine with added suggestions from Kyle James