5 Best Laptops For Journalists and Journalism Students 2022

As a journalist, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the need to get a high performance laptop.

Most of the time you’ll just use it to check out the news, connect with peers and send data in different formats (audio,text and video).

Even phones can do all of that.

What about video and photo editing?

Unless you’re going to do some professional video and photo editing, you don’t need a  high performance machine either. 

Most of us just make simple cut and transitions with some titles and nearly all MODERN 2021-2022 laptops can do that. 

So what makes the best laptop for journalism then ?

Source: Youtube Comcast News Channel

Durability, portability and keyboard quality.

1. Durability: I’m not telling you to get a rubber band-rugged machine (unless you’re going to an adventure).

But you’ll be likely to be on ALWAYS on the move thus you want a laptop with a sold build quality. One that can take a few drops and still run like a champ.  Even if you’re not an on-the-go journalist it still has to be resistant to all that teetering and tottering of everyday commuting.

2. Portability: Its not practical to carry a 5lb brick all over the place is it?

3. Keyboard: If your peers hate you because you send super long emails then that just means you love writing way too much. So if you want writing to just flow with zero effort you need a keyboard with a very good tactile feedback. That means not something that feels mushy or something you have to pound hard for keys to register. That’s just a motivation killer.

Recommended Laptop Specs for Journalists

Im going to be brief here but  you can check the last section for more details.

The last section also includes a nice quick guide on how to make the most out of every device (phone,tablet, laptop) to gather and edit stuff through proper production apps, techniques and software. I’ve also included a few cool tips to keep your data secure as possible.

Most Common Software used in Journalism

Now, getting back to the topic, before we get to computer jargon, what kind of software do we have in mind when doing so?

Apart from a few exceptions, nearly all of us use a mix of the following:

Word Processing Software. Obvious.
Photo, video, audio editing: You are not necessarily limited to Adobe Creative Suite but the hardware requirements for the alternatives are the same.  
Google Chrome+ Web Apps and Plugins: Again not limited to this but all web browsers are RAM hogs.
inDesign if you they work on magazine production

So how much power you need really comes down to whether or not you’ll be editing stuff.

RAM
8GB: The bare minimum for the full version of Windows 10 or 11. If you’re going to edit stuff, this is the minimum too whether you get a Mac or a Windows  or a Linux laptop.
4GB:  This is okay if you’re not going to be editing anything AND you’re also going to settle for a Chrome OS, Mac OSX or Windows 10 in S Mode machine.  

CPU

If you need to run the full version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, you need to avoid old CPUs. Basically anything that doesn’t say Intel Core or AMD Ryzen can be considered slow or old.

If Intel make sure it’s anything from the 8th gen, preferably 11th generation. The 12th generation is out and so is the 6th gen of Ryzen but they’re way too fast for our purposes

Recommended: Intel Core i5 and Ryzen 5 for heavy lifting purposes. Fast yet not so expensive.

Storage(Recommended)
Solid State Drive:  SSDs (Solid State Drives) are the standard now and that’s a good thing they’ll boot up your machine in less than 5 seconds and wake up from sleep mode instantly. Think about how useful that can be. 

Also, don’t worry about capacity. 128GB or even 256GB is plenty for video editing. Plus it’s always best to use the Cloud.

Display
Matte vs Glossy: If you’re on the move, then get a display with a matte finish. They’ll let you clearly see what’s on screen even with the sun in your face. High brightness help too (~500 nits for sun exposure).

Resolution: UHD and QHD resolution displays are kind of useless even for video editing and they’re crazy expensive too. Most laptops have FHD and this is great for both multitasking and editing. 

Battery
A short battery life is an obstacle to the “pick-up-anywhere-and-write” mentality.
10 hour battery laptops can last you a couple of days without a single recharge. Only premium laptops (macBooks, thin +$700 laptops and ChromeBooks have this much).

Portability & Durability
3lbs is portable anything more is heavy and likely only useful if you’re just staying at once place most of the time.

Some laptops are rugged all over(ChromeBooks) or are made of full aluminum(MacBooks), thus they are many times more sturdy than the average laptop.

KeyBoard
Most laptop’s keyboard are not going to simulate a typewriter or a mechanical keyboard but you can get pretty close with Premium Ultrabooks or MacBooks.

Top 5 Best Laptops For Journalists

All laptops that follow have +10 hours of battery life, superb keyboards (some better than others) and are mostly made of full aluminum.  

For each laptop that follows there’s an “downgraded” and  “upgraded” version. You can buy the latter for video and photo editing but even the former version should be plenty fast too.

1. MacBook Air

Best Apple Laptop For Journalists

  Apple M1 Chip

  8GB RAM DDR4

  Apple 8-core GPU

  256-2TBGB Flash Storage SSD

  13.3” Retina Resolution/True Color

  2.7lb

  12 hours

This is the most obvious choice for anyone serious about journalism. 

I could write an entire articles on how useful this machine can be but I’ll just be brief and talk about the most important features:

 

There’s been about 8 different new versions since its release in 2008 but what was intriguing back then was the outstanding speed, due to the revolutionary SSD (Solid State Drive) back then and thinness (it was so portable  you coult fit in into an envelope yet still big enough to hold a 13” display).

The newest versions have become even faster , especially the 2020 version with the M1 Chip which outperforms every other ultrabook. Back then it was hailed as the laptop with the longest battery life and I confirmed that pretty quickly  because I always had spare energy after an entire day of work. The newest version still outdors every other laptop in here with ~15 hours of battery.

1. Keyboard & Battery Life

What I can tell you from using the Air since 2009 and still doing so in 2022 is that typing on these things is very addictive. You might even take novel writing as a hobby.

Typing on it feels like every hit is a small smack of satisfaction.

Although you will never find a laptop that will get you into the groove a mechanical  typerwriter  brings. You can get a semblance of the same thrill through keyboards with this excellent tactile feedback and bounce and you’ll start to feel like Jack Kerouac or Ernest Hemingway or Hunter S Thompson a few minutes into typing.

This is really the main reason why I keep rolling with a MacBook Air , well that and the battery. 

Now not every model has a keyboard with the same level of epicness:

2008-2017 MacBook Air:

The best keyboards are those that kept the same original design which Steeve Jobs presented in 2008. That keyboard design was kept until 2017. 

So you don’t necessarily need to buy the newest M1 Chip model here if you want that awesome keyboard. The older models are still available on Amazon. The older models are still damn fast because they all have SSD and the OSX always accomodates resources appropiately so CPU and RAM resources are not overloaded.

Battery? The older models have more battery than the 2018-2019 models we’ll talk about soon. 

I would go not go older than the 2015 model though simply because those 2008 models have their batteries cycling hundreds of times since then thus they can’t output as much as they did when they were brand new.

An almost brand new 2015 model should last you for about 13 hours which is exactly what I get now from my old 2015 MacBook Air. I’ve gone a ocuple of days without a recharge when I was on the move in a new city  moving from several offices to several cafes

MacBook Air 2015 Link ~ 400-600$

MacBook Air 2017 Link ~ 600-700$ (Non Retina)

2018-2019 MacBook Air:

These models tried to make the 2008 version even thinner with much more power thus they were forced to redesign the keyboard. The keyboard in fact, isn’t bad, most people will not notice a difference. However, if you’ve used the 2008-2017 version before, you will notice it just not as good as the older version. 

Thus if you are nitty picky about keyboards and on a high budget, then just avoid these models. 

However… 

None of the older versions pre-2017 have it, not even FHD.  

Only MacBooks from 2018 onwards have the retina display. So if you’re a budget and you know you’re going to be editing a lot of stuff, these MacBooks are a good choice because the 2020-2021 models are much much more expensive.

2018 MacBook Air (Retina Display)

2020-2021 MacBook Air:

The Newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pros (2020) , the one featured here, have both the retina display and the same thrill of the 2008-2017 keyboards. 

The problem is that they are too damn fast and therefore they are expensive. 

However, If you have the cash, I would opt for these over any other model.

They have the power to blaze through hardware demanding tasks like video editing and the best keyboards for constant writing. So it’s really going to cover the whole spectrum of tasks in Journalism.

11” MacBook Air:

The 11” MacBooks had the battery life, keyboard and almost the same speed of the 13” MacBook Air in a much smaller and compart form. 

Thus you could really place this thing inside a winter coat pocket or grab it two fingers whenever you step out of the office if you didn’t trust your screen lock password.

Although there are no longer 11” MacBooks, you can still find hundreds of these models as refurbished which makes them insanely cheaper yet faster than every single Windows laptop in the $200-400 price range. 

2015 11” MacBook Air 

2. Performance

Virtually every MacBook is snappy and lagless for the most common apps used in Journalism.

However, If you end up working in the staff magazine department , then you probably want the retina displays models (2018-2021 models) because they have much higher resolutions and cover nearly the entire Adobe sRGB spectrum (gamut).  A MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook Air would be a better choice if you can afford it.

3. Storage

If you’re a student or a journalist working towards your MA, 128GB is plenty. So you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by choosing the models with the lowest storage and RAM configurations. That’s because most programs in journalism only involve lots of essay writing.

If you are working with a lot of video stories, then you have to get at least 256GB. Preferably 512GB. Those are really expensive but again you can save money by going for the 2018-20219 models.

One last reason to buy a MacBook:

If you enter any work room at a stadium, something like 9/10 laptops reporters and journalist use will be Macs.

Thus it is helpful to go with the trend because there’s going to be easy access to trouble shooting and accesories from peers. Forgot your charger? need a CD-DVD external Drive? It’s just two seats away.

The downside is that they are easily identifiable and highly desirable – it is more likely to be stolen than your regular windows machine. 

Thus it’s always a good idea to learn how to use the Cloud Service available in all Macs to save files and make back-ups on a regular basis. 

It’s also a good idea to set up an anti theft system software. I have included the details on how to do so in the last section. 

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2. Surface Pro 8

Best Laptop For IT students

 11th gen Core i5, Core i7

  8GB-32GB RAM

  Intel Xe Graphics

  256GB-2TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13.3” IPS 2736×1824 TouchScreen

  1.7lb and above

  +11 hours

I’ve only gotten my hands on the Surface Pro a couple of times.

At firt glance, it seemed to be sort of tablet with the power of a full blown laptop that’s even more portable than the MacBook Air.

But you can actually turn into a laptop once you magnetically attach the keyboard.

Taking it out of the bag and magnetically attaching the keyboard was actually a cool experience.  It felt like a writing device transformer.

Keyboard

The Keyboard was great, I would give it 4/5 where the MacBook Air’s keyboard is a solid 5. The only real issue is that it was somewhat flimsy if you wanted to use it on your laptop but it still was OK to write on. If you have a hard surface to place it on, then it’s just going to feel a regular laptop. 

There are two types types of keyboards you can attach though: one is touch responsive (meaning you’ll have to hammer on a flat piece of plastic with no buttons) and the other one is more like a real keyboard. I’m refering to the latter of course. 

Performance

If you buy the newest versions (Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 8), they’re all pretty capable of video editing, photo editing because they have the latest geneeration CPUs and at least 8GB RAM with an SSD included. They also boast almost the same color gamut and resolution of the most recent MacBooks.

If you’re just using for school or writing and simple apps then you can go for the older models but be sure to grab one with at least 8GB RAM + Core i5, otherwise it’s going to be slow even with just Chrome open.

3. Dell XPS 13 9630

Best Dell Laptop For Journalists

  10th Core i5 or Core i7

  8-16GB RAM DDR3

   Intel UHD 620

  256-1TB SSD

  13” FHD / 4k resolution

  2.7lb

  ~8 hours

Now now, you’re not limited to the Surface Pro if you want a MacBook alternative.

There are plenty of ultrabooks with the same build quality :  ASUS ZenBook, HP Envy and the Dell XPS 13 are the most well known models.

What’s the difference? 

Some ultrabooks can be slightly thinner and lighter than the latest MacBook Air (this wasn’t the case pre-2017 but it is now) and they can be 100 or even $200 cheaper like the ASUS ZenBook featured here.

The downside is that they won’t have the same battery life (The ZenBook here has ~10 vs MacBook’s Air 15). A more powerful modern Dell XPS should get you around 8 hours.

Keyboard

I know I know typing out each letter and getting into a groove for writing is far more important than power and looks:

The truth is this laptop’s keyboard is not as good as the MacBook’s Air however because the keys are wider and fatter, they’re very easy to type on and you also still get a nice feedback.  Plus the font of every letter is overly accentuated as if they are demanding to be hammered with vigour; powered by whisky, tobacco and a pretty close deadline.

Performance

You already know what configuration you need for what you’re going to do do. Although I’ve listed the latest one here for being-up-to-date purposes you can type look for older versions of the ZenBook which are slightly slower for heavy-software purposes like Video Editing. 

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4. 2022 Lenovo ThinkPad T15

Lenovo Laptop For Journalists

  Intel Core i5-10210U

  16GB-32GB

   Intel HD 620

  256GB-2TB SSD

  14” FHD

  3.7lbs

  10 hours

The Lenovo ThinkPads are very very popular for anyone who seeks extreme durability from a Windows laptop. They are known to be build like tanks. 

Ergonomics

But what’s not so well knowm is that they excellent ergonomics. By that I mean that the keyboard track and display are of extreme high quality.

This is the reason why they’re usually more expensive than your average Windows Ultrabook.

They also boast of pretty insane battery lives.

All of that only applies to the Lenovo ThinkPads with the Lenovo Yogas may be a close second.

KeyBoards

If you ever find someone using a Lenovo ThinkPad (the logo stands out pretty well) or perhaps you visit a computer store.

Pay close attention to how much effort Lenovo puts into their keyboard  design, then try using the keyboards of the laptops next to it. You’ll find the keyboards to be far superior than all of them.

The keyboards are the closest thing you’re going to get to remseble desktop-like typing because they are usually thicker laptops which can fit in high raised keys thus increasing tactile feedback beyond what a thin laptop can offer.

The Lenovo Yogas are thinner and lighter so you’ll find their keyboards resemble the ones you find on ultrabooks.

Power: Photo or Video Editing 

Both the ThinkPads and Yogas always update their models to have the latest generation Intel or Ryzen CPUs. So as long as you get something modern (8th-12th Intel Core i5 / Any Ryzen 5 ) you should be able to video and photo edit semi-professionally no problem.

Lenovo Yoga vs Lenovo ThinkPad

I’d recommend the ThinkPads if you can afford a 3.5lb model. If not, just go with the Yogas, they all weight around that number.

If you have a lot of cash, then consider buying the X1 Carbon . You could call it a mix of the Lenovos & Yogas.

Linux Compatibility

Unlike, most laptops the Lenovo ThinkPads  are also more compatible with Linux. 

This means that if you want to install both a Linux on top of Windows , when you use Linux hardware compatibility will be 100%. In other words, every piece of hardware will have driver on Linux and thus everything from the little dot they’ve got in the upper middle position to the camera  will work ThinkPads right out of the Box when you use Linux too.

Why is Linux something you may want to consider?

Several reasons but the most interesting one is being able to use a software like TrueCrypt.

TrueCrypt  may not be available by the time you read this but there are dozens of alternatives.

Basically, TrueCrypt and its alternatives will allow you to  have a hidden operating system and a dummy OS in the same machine. 

You can boot to do normal stuff on the dummy OS and do any sensitive journalism on the hidden  OSs which you can only access once you enter a different password.

I’ve included more details on this and how you can also install Prey and KeyLogger in the last section. 

All laptops can have Linux, Prey and Keylogger installed. Not just ThinkPads (except for MacBooks).

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5. ASUS Chromebook C202 SA

Best ChromeBook For Journalists

  1.6-2.48 GHz Intel Celeron N3060

  4GB RAM DDR3L

   Intel HD

  32 GB eMMC

  11” HD Anti Glare

  2.2lbs

  10 hours

  Chrome OS

This is not a toy-laptop. It’s a chromebook.

It looks like a toy but it’s far more useful than most windows laptops imo.

Here’s why:

Basically, it’s a great replacement to your main device for ANY trip, mission or Indiana Jones-like adventure. Especially this model.

Unlike most windows laptops, nearly all ChromeBooks are quite quite resistant to physical damage. Even a 200$ ChromeBook can last you several several years and the only reason why you would want to buy a newer model would be because the keyboard’s just worned out.

You can further enhanced durability by buying the ruggerized chromebooks like this model featured here.  

The entire chasis is ruggerized with rubber-band material which makes it extremely resistant to physical drops as well as all the jostling involved in any adventure.

I can’t even remember how many times I dropped this thing and it’s still running fine. 

The Cloud: Your Data is safe up there

The coolest thing about using a ChromeBook on the road , as long as you have cellular data or any Wifi connection, it automatically sync EVERYTHING to the cloud which you can always access to restore should you get yours stolen or taken away. 

“Data is safe from thieves and hackers up in the cloud”

Software: Just Apps

The problem with ChromeBooks, if any, is that you can’t install software like you would on a Windows Machine thus you are limited to whatever is available on the Chrome Store (sort of like the App Store or Android Store).

This is still a good thing for several reasons:

Less chance of being attacked by virus: you can’t install iffy third party software.
No Bloatware
All well-known apps and software are available on the App Store: MS Office, Paint, Chrome(Web Browse), games, etc .
Lightroom, PhotoShop, Word,Excel, PowerPoint have been there for ages.

Bonus: Linux in Developer Mode

I’m working on a tutorial on how to set up a Linux Distro using Crouton with ChromeBook’s Developer Mode.

I’m basically telling you that you can install a Linux Distribution on it on top of Chrome OS (the default OS of ChromeBooks) which you can go back to through a quick restart.

The Linux distro makes a ChromeBook act like a Windows Machine where you have access to even more third-party software available to play with. 

Keyboard: Cheap but responsive

Now the keyboard is cheap for sure. Most ChromeBooks including this model only sell for about $250.

It feels cheap when you type on it thats true but it’s still responsive.  There’s a lot of tactile feedback the kind of you’d expect from a premium chip and if you want to know the reason its simple: ChromeBooks don’t need a lot of hardware installed to run thus they can fit in keys with a lot of travel distance. 

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How To Buy The Best Laptop for Journalism

Being a journalist doesn’t mean you’ll dispatched to Ukraine or the middle east for the upcoming World Cup. 

Though you will probably have something to do at those events at some point you’ll be mostly restricted to one of the four categories down below.

I’ll list the hardware requirements to focus on for each of these categories then I will go into more technical details about each computer specifications.

Journalism School

If you’re about to start school, your focus should be portability and perhaps storage.  Though those who went as far as getting an MA in journalism will tell you: you don’t need that much storage unless youtube video new stories is going to be your main concern WHILE you’re in school. 

The academic part of journalism only involve lots of essays and the vocational part will, most of the time,  require even smaller text files. 

Working for a newspaper as a writer

This usually means portability goes out the windows.  However , if you’re very dedicated to your work it probably means you want to work outside of facilities too. Thus in this scenario, it’s imperative you focus on portability and damn good keyboard.

RAM should be at least 8GB, you want to make sure there’s zero lag even with dozens of web browsing tabs open.

Staff magazine w/ InDesign

A spacious FHD IPS display plus a late generation CPU (8th-11th Intel or 4th-6th gen Ryzen 5) and 8GB RAM .

You want this thing to fly and avoid feeling sluggishness as you draw and multitask.

Blogger/Web Content

This may very well be the most hardware demanding role because it might require you to edit videos, photos and audios.

Although it’s mostly light editing work, you want things to render fast thus you may need the latest generation CPUwith plenty of RAM (8GB-16GB)and one Solid State Drive. 

Journalist on the road

Portability and build quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for premium laptops like the MacBooks and Lenovo ThinkPads (though those will surely work). You can also go for ChromeBooks which are much much cheaper yet plenty of fast for Office-like work.

CPU & RAM

Word Processing/Blogging
It doesn’t mean you’ll be limited to Microsoft Word. Remember, you will have dozens of web browsing tabs open to get your sources.

Now it’s not like you need a fast processor for this. In fact, any CPU will do. However, you need to make sure RAM is upgradeable at least up to 8GB. 

Most modern laptops have 8GB RAM obviously but that’s just a warning if you’re trying to find a budget machine that was made several years ago.

InDesign/Photo/Video/Audio Editing
Assuming no high quality professional video editing is going on:

Simple Cuts + Transition:Intel Core i3 / Ryzen 3 Series + 8GB RAM for simple cuts and transitions. 
Semi-Professional Video editing (Color grading, dissolves, slow & fast motion):11th gen Intel Core i5 / 5th gen Ryzen 5 CPUs + 8GB RAM.
Professional video editing: Please check my post best laptops for video editing but basically you want to start with a 4GB vRAM dGPU + 8GB RAM. Everything else (CPU) comes by default and the storage + RAM can be upgraded later.

Storage (Capacity)

Storage only becomes an issue if you’re a heavy duty video editor because you might need to to store dozens and dozens of clips in the gigabytes range.

Most laptops for semi-professional video editing have plenty of space though (256GB at the very least). This may be enough for 50 high quality clips at FHD w/ 60fps. Thus if you think you’re going to store more than that then you can either upgrade it 512GB (check my tutorial on how to do the upgrade) or just use an external storage device.

SSD vs HDD

What’s super important and even more important than how much storage you get is the type of storage you get. Just make sure your laptop has an SSD on board and not the old fashioned HDD because it is too slow for today’s applications and purposes. SSDs can do wonderful things like:

Boot up video editing software in secs
Boot up your machine in seconds.
Locate a particular exceprt within a file across all the drive in seconds

Most laptops will have an SSD though, just make sure you also get one and your upgrade includes one too.

Display

Resolution (optional)
High resolution give you more screen because a high number of pixels means you can have icons, objects and fonts at a smaller size without compromising visibility.

768p: This is super low resolution. It’s fine for web browsing , writing docs and watching videos. Not so great for anything else especially multitasking.
HD+: Some Core i5 or Ryzen 5 Windows laptops, especially those 17” or 15” budget laptops, wil have this much. This is approx 900p and it’s okay for simple video editing and multitasking.
FHD: Ideally you want this much for video editing, it will also give writers enough space (regardless of how small the display is) to have multiple windows next to each other.

Brightness

This is very very important if you write outdoors. Not so important for designing/drawing stuff. 

Unfortunately, this is never listed by manufacturers so you’re going to have to do a little digging to find out how bright the display can be configured to be. 

300 nits: Most laptops will have this much. This is fine to work at the office next to a sunny window.
500 nits: You want somewhere near this number if you know you have to work outside on sunny days. 

Matte Display vs Glossy

It may be too much to ask but you may be lucky enough to get yourself a Matte display over the most common Glossy panels. Matte screens will protect your eyes from glares that may happen when you work at very very bright settings.

KeyBoards

Nothing is going to beat the typing speed of a full sized conventional mechanical keyboard. This types of keyboards are impossible to find on laptops simply because they’re too thick and a laptop needs plenty of space to fit ALL the other hardware.

This makes most laptops’ keyboards have low travel distances. This in some cases will make typing non-responsive and uncomfortable.

Now…this isn’t always the case. 

More and more laptops now have awesome responsive keyboards but only a few will get you into the groove for writing at anytime:

All MacBooks
All Lenovo ThinkPads
All Lenovo X-Carbons
Premium Thin-Ultrabooks above $700

All of the above also come with the back-lit feature.

Unfortunately, those are kind of expensive but you can still get decent keyboards out of budget laptops (under $700):

ChromeBooks
Thick Windows Laptops

Battery

Battery lives listed by manufacturers are usually innacurate because they test them on low-energy settings: low brightness and video playback. 

It’s just better to look up third-party reviews such as those found on laptopmag.com or notebookcheck.com.

Laptops with the longest battery lives:

All Macbooks have insane battery lives. The latest ones up to 15 hours (with no dGPU).
All ChromeBooks have at least 10 hours (that’s on average, it usually goes up more)
13” Windows laptops with Core i3 or Ryzen 3 CPUs and low resolution displays will be able to pull off at least 8 hours.
Premium Ultrabooks (thin, lightweight) like the ASUS ZenBook ~8 hours too.

Data Security

Laptop & information theft (through hacking)  is quite common even among ordinary people. 

Laptops, even MacBooks, do not have a GPS system

Thus there’s no way to track your system once it’s stolen UNLESS you set yours up to be located through a WiFi Network.

Tracing a Laptop

You have to install a special software so you can track it through a WiFi networks. You have:

Prey : Available on Linux,Mac and Windows. Once installed you can remotely activate Prey once on the robber’s hands. Once it’s up and running you can activate the alarm on your laptop, see its location, display a message on the screen or lock it down. There are dozens of alternatives to Prey, you just have to do a quick search.

KeyLogger: Will record the activity when temporarily stolen or when used by someone else. 

Operating System

When it comes to security, each operating system has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Windows

Window’s still the most vulnerable OS for hacking and data theft. This is because it’s compatible (thus it can run) nearly every application found on the web which you may install.

Mac OSX

Apple can be said to be a little more secure because applications must be “validated” by the OSX before the installation process. It’s also running more updates on the background and every upgrade patches up a security hole. 

Yes, it is still vulnerable to viruses and malware but because it is less targeted by hackers and the fact that it’s security system is slightly better it makes a lot less vulnerable to hacking . 

Linux

Linux is a double-edged sword. If you know what you’re doing, it can be the most secured OS out of the three. If data security is important, take a small course on Linux/programming through the terminal and you can tweak it to have better security than OSX and Windows. 

If you run Linux and don’t know what you’re doing, it can be more vulnerable than Windows.

OS Set Up Suggestion

This is a very popular set up for those journalists who want to protect their data as much as possible: 

Decoy OS + Hidden OS

This is basically having two operating systems installed on a single device.

One of these OSs will show up by default when booting up, this is the dummy OS. The decoy OS will only boot up if you enter the correct password at boot.

Thus the dummy OS can be used to do everyday regular stuff and the hidden OS can be used to do any sensitive journalism.

In the scenario where the laptop’s taken by a group of people, or maybe by foreign goverment people, then even if you hand it over and you give them a password. Only the dummy or decoy OS will show up and the hidden OS will remain hidden until the correct password is entered. 

What is TrueCrypt anyway?

TrueCrypt was basically a source-available free software to encrypt disks in a file or encrypt  a partition of a whole storage device. You could use trueCrypt to do the shanda I described before and have these two OS on a single machine.  There are several alternatives to TrueCrypt in this link.

Other Apps & Software

 Please consider taking a look to the software on the following link bunch of app & software see if you can find them useful.

Also consider becoming well-versed with the following tools:

Photoshop
You’re going to need at least some knowledge about the basic effects of PhotoShop on real photos. It is one of the major factors into drawing a large audience to your content.  It also helps learning how to do design simple headlines for content upload through a website or a blog.

Camera & Video Editing
You’re going to need to step up your recording skills beyond basic iPhone camera usage.

You also need to get acquianted with the most popular apps for photo-video journalism. This is only of course if you aspire to work in broadcast media either through a TV station or through Youtube.

You also need to learn how to get the most out of your iPhone or Android Camera because chances are when a sudden important event reveals infront of your eyes you are not going to have access to a professional camera. Here’s where some apps and some tutorials come in handy.

Audio
Most recording are now through video cameras but there will be at least one time in your career where you can only do audio recordings though my bet is that it will be much more. Obviously, if you have a passion for radio , then it becomes crucial. 

Social networks & Blogs
It’s going to be pretty pointless to tell you to make social media profiles. You probably have dozens by now.

But the thing is you have to get used to use those for journalism purposes and not for selfies:

They can be some of the best news sources. Especially facebook and YouTube where a story may be shared way before they show up on websites.
It’s also the place where you can connect to a large amount of audience and have your work noticed. 

Blog:  A blog by itself is not very useful to get your content out unless it’s already quite popular on the web. What you can do is have a link to your blog on your social media profiles where people can see ALL the other articles and stories you have shared with the world before.

Making a blog is super easy these days you don’t need any web design skills. You can just download an app like a WordPress and be done with it. A blog ALSO gives you the possibility where your audience is located. Though only facebook and YouTube will give you more data on the kind of audience you have. 

Accessories To Consider

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 28mm 1.8
2 extra batteries for the 5D plus charger
Memory cards (lots of them)
Laptop case (waterproof)
Portable hard drive USB drive (no external electricity needed)
Notebooks (Moleskin, several, but not the bulky ones, the ones that fit in the back pocket)
Pens, VBall (Well guess I got issues since I only like using one kind)
Audio recorder (USB transfer)
Card reader
Cleaning equipment for the camera (blower, swipe, etc)
Cheap Nokia phone where the batteries last forever
Elastic electrical tape
Several USBs

The bag is a Fjällräven 30L with two great side pockets for easy access. Reinforced bottom so that it doesn’t soak up the humidity. Plus I take the padding from another camera case and put it in the bottom.

Comments?

If you have any questions, suggestions or recommendations please leave a comment below.

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