Tips On Being A Prepared Journalist

Similar to that of the boy scouts, I believe in always being prepared.

Sitting in my trunk is a pair of rain boots, an umbrella and a warm rain coat. I also keep a bag of Craisins in my purse, pocket knife and word find in my purse, first aid kit in my trunk and a bag with emergency makeup and every tool I can think I’d ever need.

By every tool, I range from Tylenol to a nail file with antibacterial hand gel and a tooth brush mixed in.

As you can see, I’m prepared. Being a journalist, preparedness is probably one of the most important things to be.

Extra pens, plenty of paper, voice recorder, camera and video camera should always be at the ready. Also being the cops reporter you need to be prepared for the elements.

Starting with the outfit. Layering is key, the office is always chilly and typically living in Florida is warm. Sweater, nice shirt, cropped pants and you’re there.

Layering prepares the journalist for any weather change.

I also keep my rain resistant things handy since I live in one of the rainiest states in the country.

So now I sound cocky and ready for anything — yeah right.

Today I reported on the Martin Luther King Jr. parade and had the brilliant idea to walk the parade route. Only I decided this a half hour before the parade began.

Today was around 45 degrees this morning, to any Floridian that’s cold.

So I park my car wearing my shirt, sweater, cropped pants, dress shoes and grab my adorable houndstooth heavy coat feeling good and looking nice.

I parked where the parade would end and hitched a ride to the beginning of the parade interviewing on the commute thinking I am about the smartest reporter ever.

I decided to start trekking ahead of the parade stopping to interview people as I walk. It was a great plan, I got great quotes and I got a nice feel for the parade.

Then the weather got warmer, the route kept going and my feet started blistering.

I was only half-way through and over it.

Lesson for everyone, keep some tennis shoes in your car, don’t walk parade routes and keep the cockiness down. You’re never going to be as prepared as you’d like, but each time you screw up prepare for that and you’re unpreparedness level will drop.


One response to “Tips On Being A Prepared Journalist

  1. Here’s another friendly tip: install at least two prominent weather forecast apps on your smart phone. I recommend Accuweather and the Weather Channel (both free). Be a geek and check them often.
    Then when you do go out and plan to walk a lot, dress a little lighter than you think you’ll need when you first step out the door. Moving around will always warm you up a bit and then you won’t have to carry that bulky coat once it does warm up.
    Find a good pair of shoes that won’t garner too much scorn from your editor but will work well on the cops beat. A good pair of hiking shoes looks fine in business casual and holds up well on streets and softer surfaces.
    Oh, and never, ever run out of Imodium in your purse!

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