All you need to be a journalist

  • A laptop
  • A dongle
  • Mobile phone
  • Notepad and pen
  • Transport (public or personal)
  • Recording equipment and editing software (if working for broadcast)

And that's it. Today's journalist doesn't need an office, they should, in theory, be able to work from wherever the news is, uploading straight to the web if needs be (via a sub or an editor, preferably). Newspapers, especially local ones, shouldn't be wedded to the idea that the news goes out when they decide it goes out, because it's never been easier or quicker to get the news out as it happens.

Look at the above kit. Other than perhaps the slightly more specialist broadcast-quality material (although that's no longer the issue it once was, and if the footage is good, the footage is good) it's something anybody can get together. Anybody can be a citizen journalist (misleading as that term is). The question is, how does traditional media respond to this?

The above was one small idea that came out of a long and fascinating conversation with Dina (from Tango 'til I'm sore) on the future of local journalism. She is a local journalist; I used to be one.

She's also pretty well equipped, I'd say, to deal with wherever the hell journalism finds itself going in the next five years, as she has a pretty good understanding of how, where and why journalism needs to work and connect with the web.

After all the times I've used this blog for groaning at assorted local media (and, hopefully, praising them where praise is due), it's always refreshing to meet somebody who works in that field and understands the importance of web, social media and other assorted online bits and pieces to journalism.

(And if you don't think local media as we know it will change greatly over the coming years, read this from Jeff Jarvis then think again.)