There are many tools that can help make an MMJ’s work day more efficient. I’m sure everyone has their own list of helpful items, but I thought I’d share mine since younger MMJ reporters ask me on a regular basis.
For starters, I always have my work laptop with me – which has editing software on it (Edius). This laptop also plugs into a dock on my desk in the newsroom and is used as my primary work computer.
Since I spend a lot of time out in the field, I always take my laptop with me. I use an Osprey backpack to carry everything. This backpack wasn’t issued to me by the station, but I’ve always been a fan of Osprey since they make a durable, easy-to-carry pack.
I used to take a second, smaller laptop with me also (a google chrome book). This was a personal laptop and I used it to log my video and sound from my editing laptop. Recently I purchased an iPad mini with a connecting keyboard to take its place.
When I’m in the field I usually work out of a coffee shop or a hotel lobby; anyplace that has fast, free wifi. Now a days, I’ll edit out of my news vehicle. My station provided its reporters and photographers with cell phones that now have MiFi hot spots built into them. In most places, the phones will transfer at a fast pace and allow us to have strong access to the internet.
I also pack an extra set of headphones, SD cards, duct tape, a note pad with a pen, a pocket calendar and a book in my backpack. The book comes in hand when you’ve got time to kill. This past winter I was stuck on the side of a mountain for an hour when an avalanche rolled onto the road.
I also put my makeup bag in my backpack. It includes my makeup, eye drops, an IFB, lip balm, a comb and some hair gel.
Another important item: snacks. Always carry a snack with you. You never know when you’ll need it.
If you’re an MMJ, your backpack is your best friend. Take good care of it.