The journalist’s toolbox, smudged in newsprint ink and proudly sporting First Amendment stickers, is a box that is constantly being updated and refilled with the changing times. With these “tools of the trade” rapidly changing, it can easily be overwhelming to keep track of what is necessary. However, there are some tools, tried and true, that will never change.
Should you, the journalist, fall victim to the fails of technology, he or she can never go wrong with the good old interview notebook. This beauty of a spiral bound, perfectly petite notebook is full of lined pages, eager to display your shorthanded interview scribbles, chronicling your interviews for months to come.
The notebook’s trusty companion is the ink pen. The black or blue gel loaded in this handheld device follows the lead of your hand, swirling out l’s and o’s, dotting your i’s. It moves at the full speed of your hand to attempt catch every word falling from the interviewee’s lips.
The modern journalist, in this day and age, should also be prepared with a camera, a recorder and a video camera (if the camera does not shoot video). Some words (all words, really) just need to be recorded instead of scratched on paper. Sometimes the photographer or videographer can’t make it in time to capture the moment. It’s for these moments and reasons that a journalist must adapt their toolbox with these items, but never forget about those two tried and true.
The moral of this story is to keep your toolbox updated, but don’t throw out the classics. Batteries can run dead, and technology can fail, but the trusty notebook and pen will remain true until the end.