For backpack journalist, success depends on tools, training, technique

Backpack journalism offers news directors a way to bring more intimate and immediate coverage of stories to viewers from nearly anywhere in the world.

But doing so, says veteran journalist Bill Gentile, not only requires proper training with the tools of the craft, such as lightweight digital camcorders and laptop editors, but also a kit of technology that is reliable and can hold up to rugged use.

This spring, Gentile partnered with CEI in Newington, VA, to offer a turnkey backpack journalism bundle of technology that has proven its mettle under the toughest field reporting conditions.

In this, the second part of the podcast interview with Gentile, the backpack journalism pioneer discusses the technology needed to make this genre of reporting successful as well as the thinking behind the new Bill Gentile Backpack Journalism System.

Gentile also underscores the importance of proper training to do backpack journalism right and discusses the impact of using lightweight acquisition tools by journalists and consumers alike on the value proposition of traditional TV news as well as the democratization of the exchange of information.

Editor’s note: The first part of the podcast interview as well as “Backpack journalism success hinges on training, not cost-savings quest, Gentile says” are available on the Broadcast Engineering website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.