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What the Contents of Your Backpack Say About You: Reporter Edition

One day in the Columbia Missourian newsroom, I made every reporter in the room share the contents of their backpack. Then, I took it upon myself to analyze their belongings and determine what it says about the type of person and reporter they are. Without further ado, here’s what the contents of your backpack say about you: reporter edition.

Mae Bruce

Backback: Solo New York Region Backpack

Contents: Columbia Missourian reporter badge, parking pass from downtown Columbia parking garage, hand sanitizer, chapstick, wallet, snacks, an extra face mask, feminine products, umbrella, plastic fork, computer charger, phone charger, two notebooks, one reporter notebook, pencil pouch, water bottle, car keys, earbuds and laptop.

What it says about her: Bruce clearly carries a lot in her backpack. She has the classic necessities for school and all the tools she needs for when she’s reporting. Bruce is prepared for every situation, especially when her friends are in a time of need. While I do question how heavy her backpack is, I can appreciate that she never wants to be caught unprepared. I was surprised she didn’t have any quirky items in her backpack because she usually loves little keepsakes that will spark a conversation.

Austin Krohn

Backpack: Solo New York Backpack

Contents: 5 Star five subject notebook, two reporter notebooks, Park and Recreation pamphlets, random pile of papers, laptop charger, extra shirt, three books for a sociology class, two extra masks, phone charger, Columbia Missourian reporter business cards, pens, Columbia Missourian press pass, a ton of school supplies, a small crushed bag full of chocolate from a random passing through Speaker’s Circle and a laptop.

What it says about him: Krohn very clearly is on the City/County beat because of his Parks and Recreation pamphlets and the abundance of notebooks. He doesn’t carry too much outside of the necessities and the most concerning item in his backpack is the crushed bag of candy. This shows that although he likes to be prepared, sometimes he’s prepared for the wrong situations. I wasn’t surprised that his backpack was not stuffed full of belongings, because he just doesn’t seem like the materialistic type of guy to do so.

Eli Hoff

Backpack: SWISSGEAR Scan Smart TSA Laptop Backpack

Contents: Fruit punch-flavored Ice Cubes gum, Columbia Missourian press pass, four black masks, Journalism 4180 press pass, crumpled up paper, tissues, wallet, Columbia Missourian reporter business cards, laptop charger, phone charger, random notebook from fall semester class, two reporter notebooks, pen, an extremely random pamphlet from the St. Louis airport bathroom about a man on a quest for peace, two sets of earbuds, AirPods, water bottle and a yellow file folder full of classified documents

What it says about him: There were quite a few curve balls inside Hoff’s backpack. At first glance, it seems like Hoff is the perfect journalist with a bag full of notebooks, press passes and classified documents. But as you dig deeper, you stumble upon the pamphlet from the St. Louis airport bathroom and give a major eyebrow raise. Hoff said that he decided to keep the pamphlet because it was interesting enough to keep around.

“I sort of thought in the moment I put it in my backpack, that it would be interesting to look at it from a journalist’s perspective,” Hoff said. “Like, who’s the type of person who goes around leaving things in airport bathrooms and do they ever work?”

While he likes to be prepared for every situation and has journalist instincts, he also appreciates the quirky aspects of life and feels sentimental about keeping those items close. The excess of masks also indicates he would rather be caught dead than be unmasked in a public setting.

Sofi Zeman

Backpack: Herschel Daypack

Contents: Three Columbia Public School pens, a gum wad in crumpled up paper, random wrappers, three pairs of sunglasses, Columbia Missourian reporter business cards, wallet, United Airlines sanitizing wipe, chapstick, AirPods, cocoa bean crumbs, a mason jar full of candy, two reporter notebooks, notebook for class, laptop charger, KBIA sticker, ziplock bag with chip crumbs, three regular pens, lemon cookie crumbs, pencils, coffee-stained towel, name stage from class, movie tickets, planner, laptop and extra mask.

What it says about her: Going through Zeman’s bag was a whirlwind of surprises. Right off the bat, you instantly notice K-12 education reporter vibes, mixed with academic preparedness and an abundance of random items. The most questionable item was the coffee-stained towel, which was followed by a hilarious story spilling all the details. It’s clear that Zeman is a prepared reporter, while also being a collector of many niche items. This speaks to her personal life of liking quirky objects and embracing life’s unique gifts. Each of the items seems to carry a story along with it and I think it speaks to another aspect of Zeman’s life, where she always has a story to tell.

Marta Mieze

Backpack: Fjallraven Kanken Water Resistant Backpack

Contents: Keys, AirPods, hand lotion, tissues, ID case, hand sanitizer, five $1 bills, earbuds, Columbia Missourian press pass, granola bar, umbrella, a bag full of snacks, book for her book club, laptop charger, phone charger, emergency bag with toiletries, planner, two notebooks and a reporter notebook.

What it says about her: Mieze is a cool gal and her personality is beaming from her backpack. She carries snacks galore and the contents of her bag are very organized. She’s inspired me to make my own emergency bag with feminine products and medicine because there have been so many times where I’ve needed Advil or a tampon and it’s not in my bag. The combination of her being prepared and organized makes her the perfect journalist and I know if I ever need anything, she’ll come running.

Sophia Donis

Mizzou '23

I’m a Journalism major with a minor in Political Science from the Chicago suburbs! I love interior design, spending time with my friends and snuggling up with a good book!
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