How to build a Journalist Go-Bag

Dayvee interviewing in the field while a reporter.

I have spent 14 years as traditional broadcast journalist before I ventured out on my own entrepreneurial path.

While I was on the daily grind as a reporter, I've always thought it would be a great idea to show you all what I packed in my reporter bag. (Well, it was actually a carry-on hand luggage. And there were definitely reporters and anchors in my newsroom who carried full-on suitcases.)

Unfortunately, I never got around to shooting that video. But, I am still a part of news, and a recent series of breaking news events proved to be a prime time to show you what I carry in my journalist go-bag.

First, let me distinguish the difference between a Reporter go-bag vs Journalist go-bag

Journalist go-bag is basically an overnight bag you keep in your car or under your desk (some stations even have lockers) in case you must stay overnight (or even a few days) or leave immediately out of town for a breaking news assignment.

Reporter go-bag usually has the same things as the standard journalist bag, including essentials a reporter may need for on-air appearances. A reporter bag will also include gear for all-weather conditions, including floods, rain and snow storms.

Check out this video of when I had to use my journalist go-bag while on assignment for CNN in Atlanta. I keep this bag in my car.

As a guide, here's some essentials you can keep in your car or under your desk.

Start with a large tote or duffle bag
A blanket
A towel and wash cloth
Undergarments, including socks
(women) feminine products
Dress pants
A couple of dress or business casual tops
A blazer
Fleece and winters coats (quality gear usually provided the TV station)

Do you have an emergency bag in your car? Let us know and we'll post it here!

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