I think that in journalism and in life, remaining objective is important. It’s ok to be either completely accepting, and see where everybody is coming from. And it’s ok to be a multi-biggot (a term I once read describing Hunter S. Thompson during my biography phase) because if you dislike everybody, they’re all on the same level as well. Which isn’t to say you don’t have opinions, or lean one way or the other. But as much black and white as there is on a newspaper page, virtually every issue you report on will fall into some sort of grey area.
But in the name of OBJECTivity, I have a few items that I want to showcase, because they make my job as a reporter much, much easier. Also, they’re just awesome, and people should know.
1) The WWI of coffee mugs. Why? It’s the coffee mug to end all coffee mugs (somebody tell me when they find a WWII). Anyway, I picked this Contigo up on whim at Costco once (2 for $20) because my dad is always on some sort of hunt for the best metal coffee cup ever. This was it, so I snagged one of the 2 pack before heading back to college.
What makes this so awesome is that it’s vacuum-sealed. That doesn’t just sound cool, it is cool. Because I can make a hot beverage (side note: like all awesome journalists I’ve met, I drink my coffee black) and throw in in my purse or laptop bag with no leakage. But then I can drink it with the press of a button. So it’s got all the seal-quality of a thermos with the drinkability of a to-go mug. Best $10 I spent in 2010.
2) Flippin’ HD. I had a flip camera, and it produced many a mini-movie for The Big Green, Lansing Online News and a random extra credit project in a 400-level organizational studies class. Anyway, that was until I used my friend’s HD version. It’s so much better. SO MUCH BETTER. So I caught one on Amazon’s deal of the day once, and am now the proud owner of a tiny HD camera that I’m lovin’ on.
3) Sharpie Pens. I’m not the first to discover these, and will have to credit TBG friend Jordan Barnes. I remember being at a meeting one day and him bragging that these suckers were like the fine sharpies, but you could write on notebook paper without the characteristic sharpie bleed-through. He was totally right.
Incidentally, at at TBG meeting about a year afterward I was using one and decided to pay it forward and tell everyone about how cool these pens were (read: take up more of their time talking about non-story ideas when I was Editor in Chief). But about six months later a former writer was in one of my classes using one, and he was laughing because I’d turned him onto them.
Anyway, these are a few of my favorite things, and I promise to use them to report on only the grey area.