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8 Things Every Journalist Needs For Christmas

Forget new clothes and gift cards, because you’ve got stories to write and a wish list to reflect that.

1.)  Espresso shots

Let’s face it, journalists don’t sleep—well, it’s a rare occasion at least. In this crazy world of strict deadlines and last-minute rewrites, the gift of espresso, or caffeine in general, shouldn’t ever be underestimated.

 

2.)  The AP Stylebook

As journalists, we aim for perfection. We love getting the facts right, finding the perfect angle and sharing a story we’re proud to tell.  At the same time though, perfection is just about impossible without the dreaded and ever-so-humbling AP Stylebook. As dumb as this unofficial “Rosetta Stone for Journalists” makes us feel, it’s an essential step in writing those portfolio-building stories we strive for.

 

3.)  A tape recorder

You never know when you’ll need to interview on the spot and, let’s be honest, our phones seem low on battery at all times—probably due to our excessive live-tweeting. Thankfully, having a tape recorder handy in our already jam-packed bags—full of writing guides and edits to make—will ease the pressure of writing down every direct quote we encounter.

 

4.)  A portable blanket

As journalists we spend more time napping in public than in our own beds. We’re just thankful to hit the hay whenever we get the opportunity—even if that means being slumped over the couch in the local café or drooling over a dining hall table. Having a small blanket handy for some temporary comfort might be worth the social embarrassment.

 

5.)  Ibuprofen

Most journalists experience the unavoidable, pending pain that carpal tunnel can cause—because we’re living under the expectation that we can crank out 1,000 words in a mere half-hour writing session. Ibuprofen isn’t a solution, but it can ease the pain you’re feeling from all those news stories, feature pieces and op-eds.

 

6.)  A camera

Part of being a journalist is being able to photograph a developing story on the spot because you never know when breaking news might arise. While nobody needs a $1,000 DSLR, having some sort of lens to capture those random moments opens the door to complete stories, ready for posting.

 

7.)  A paid WordPress account

Albeit a stereotype, most journalists love to utilize the popular blogging platform WordPress. It’s a great way to get your content online and noticed.  Unfortunately, an actual membership, rather than the annoyingly limited free membership, is a bit costly. Asking Santa for a paid WordPress account might be worthwhile.

 

8.) Snacks

For many journalists, it’s just as hard finding time to eat as it is finding time to sleep. It might seem trivial, but having a surplus of snacks available for all those missed meals is both handy and healthy.  

Freshman journalism and mass communication major at St. Bonaventure University
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