CCC Journalism Equipment Guide
@CCCJournalism Equipment Guide
All journalism students must purchase a flash drive (4GB minimum) for storing personal files. Students may not store any projects or files on department computers.
Students in Digital Storytelling 1 and 2 and Digital Journalism MUST have an external hard drive to use with Final Cut Pro X. The drives should meet the following minimum specifications:
USB 2 and FireWire 800 ports (for PC)
Drives should be formatted MacOS Extended (Journaled) for use with department computers.
We strongly recommend that incoming undergraduate students purchase a DSLR camera for multimedia (photos and video). Although we allow students to use certain smartphones for multimedia, a DSLR is a better investment and will produce higher quality media. Students who invest in a DSLR will be more competitive for freelance and internships while studying at Columbia. Graduate students must purchase a DSLR.
Students enrolled in DIGITAL STORYTELLING 1 and 2 must provide their own digital equipment and tripod from the approved list. Choose from the following:
iPod Touch (5th Generation)* OR
smartphone from the approved list* ORTascam im2, available at B&H. Please consider purchasing a windshield.
All graduate students must purchase the following equipment:tripod
H1 Zoom with accessory kit
external hard drive
In addition, students enrolled in Digital Journalism may wish to purchase a lapel microphone. We recommend the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier. Some devices require an adapter. For example, this is the adapter that you would need to attach the Audio-Technica lav microphone to the iPhone 4S.
The Journalism Department has classrooms and labs equipped with the latest Apple computers and software. You are not required to have a personal computer, but it may make your life easier if you decide to work on your projects or assignments when our labs are not open. Having a laptop also will allow you to produce freelance journalism. For basic word processing and some limited multimedia, you can use either a PC or Mac, although most journalists in the field use Mac computers, particularly to produce multimedia. For students interested in broadcast or digital journalism, we recommend the AppleMacBook Pro. While more expensive, Mac laptops are sold with the basic software and tools needed to edit photos and create video projects. We recommend the MacBook Pro over the Air because it's a better computer for the value, with a larger hard drive, a faster processor and more data ports. The Air is a streamlined version of the Pro. But it's not the computer for a student journalist to grow into as a professional. In other words, it is too streamlined for journalistic work. (It lacks a CD/DVD drive, for example). The Pro has the features that a journalist needs, particularly when it comes to multimedia. We recommend the 13-inch or 15-inch MacBook Pro for these reasons.
You can use open-source (free) software on either a PC or a Mac to produce multimedia journalism.
Some open source recommendations:
(Make sure you follow the instructions to download the LAME plug-in to be able to export MP3 files).
WORD PROCESSING—Open Office
Students in RW1 and RW2 will learn and use Audacity and the iLife suite of software, including iMovie and iPhoto. This software is free with purchase of a Mac computer.
MOBILE PHONES AND HANDHELD DEVICES
Journalists are increasingly using mobile technology to produce stories inexpensively and quickly from the field, delivering news directly to their readers and viewers through social media, mobile apps and websites. Mobile journalism is journalism produced through a mobile device such as an iPhone or Droid. Students who are interested in producing multimedia with a device without purchasing a smartphone or signing a carrier contract might consider the Apple iPod Touch 4th or 5th Generation. This is the preferred video camera that we recommend.
Although this list is constantly evolving, here is a selection of recommended mobile journalism apps for producing multimedia:
ONLINE TECHNOLOGY TRAINING
Columbia College Chicago provides free training through Lynda.com, which has more than 60,000 tutorials available for students to access for free. Video tutorials include Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, Final CutPro, Audacity and podcasting, iPhone and iPod Touch and WordPress. To access the site, go to oasis.colum.edu and log in with your Oasis ID and password. Click on the Training Tab and then on the Lynda.com link. For additional instruction, you might also search YouTube.com for tutorials.
Students and faculty interested in purchasing Apple products should visit the campus store.
Students might also consider purchasing multimedia equipment from B&H through its EDU Advantage Program. It is free to apply for a membership.
For questions about any of the equipment on this guide, please contact Prof. Jackie Spinner at firstname.lastname@example.org.