30 Holiday Gifts for Journalists 2012

Holidays are just around the corner and we know most of you who read this blog have a journalist or two in your life that you’ll be shopping for. Here are the recommendations from our entire 10,000 Words crew for journalistic, geeky, fun gifts. We also have a holiday gift guide from 2011 that is still relevant (2010, 2009 and 2008‘s versions are fun, too!). Anything we missed? Add your favorites and must-haves in the comments.

Record your videos and interviews with this handy mic that plugs into your headphone jack, and get pro sound in no time. The mic dulls background noise and even has different directional settings for near and far recording.

  • 2. Solio Bolt Solar Charger | Solio | $70

Never run out of juice again when you’re out in the field. Shoot video, record interviews and report back to the newsroom all you want with your iPhone. Since it uses a USB port, it works with many of your other gadgets!

  • 3. Cartoons from the New Yorker 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar | Amazon | $14.71

Well, because, who doesn’t love New Yorker cartoons?

Not exactly a gift, but perfect for decorating any of the suggested-gifts for the journo if your life.

This app (featured in our roundup here), is great for journos conducting long interviews. It time stamps your notes – just tap on a word and it’ll jump to that point in the recording.

  • 6.  JournalismAmazon | $19.14

It is not often that journos use comics as their medium of choice, which makes this book refreshing and interesting for journos of all media. Did we mention it’s very well-reported?

Ever want to take “a quick look” at Flipboard when it’s bedtime, only to find yourself glued to your iPad hours later? If so, this bedtime story is for you: “It will make you laugh, and it will also help you put yourself and your machines to sleep.”

  •  8. The Newsroom Atlantis Cable News Mug | HBO Shop| $14.99

As seen on the show! Perfect for curling up on the couch with an episode of The Newsroom.

  • 9. Keep Calm and Write On – Art Print | Etsy | $12.50

We all need a little encouragement sometimes.

  • 10. VuPoint Magic Wand Portable Scanner | VuPoint/Amazon,etc. | ~$60+

Any reporter who’s ever needed copies of documents made asap can appreciate how these portable wand scanners will make their lives easier. Imagine scanning in court documents, school board packets, city council documents, arrest reports and more in person, on-the-fly without ever paying for copies. Bonus: It’s all easy to post to the web and archive without taking up desk space. VuPoint has a range of options, they come in a rainbow of colors and sizes, with color and black-and-white options and various resolutions and speeds to meet whatever your need is.

  • 11. I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar | Mentalfloss | $10

For the editor, or other word stickler, in you’re life who can’t help but shake there heads when they see busses on the lose. (Errors in that sentence are intentional!) Even the coverline on the follow-up book, More Badder Grammar!, makes me wince.

Journalists witness some of the most traumatizing events. They tend to have a high tolerance for offensive things, like this card game, which is filled with pop culture, historical references and dark humor newsies will appreciate. It’s sort of like Apples to Apples for horrible people, or at least those who find amusement in political incorrectness.

  • 13. Vintage camera necklace | Amazon | $55

For the fashionable photographer — or the reporter stuck with the camera — this not-so-dainty necklace by Betsey Johnson shows the world your work isn’t the only thing with style. Want something cheaper? Spring for the matching earrings, or go with a cheaper take on the same idea.

  • 14. Mainstream Media T-shirt | CafePress | $12

I’ll admit as both a blogger and a mainstream media member, this shirt, which benefits the Middle Tennessee Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, made me laugh. Check out the other creative options for media professionals at CafePress as well, such as the Trust Me I’m A Journalist and “I’d rather be copyediting,” or my favorite, “Can I Quote You on That?!

Even the best writer sometimes needs help remembering the exact AP style on certain words, phrases, numbers, etc. Online subscriptions make this search super convenient. You don’t have to remember or know what word or phrase you’re searching for is listed under to find it in the book. You can just hit search. Bonus: The editors send you periodic updates on any new additions or revisions during the year, so you’re never behind on changes or newly added terms.

  • 16. Write More Good: An Absolutely Phony Guide | Amazon | $10.40

This hilarious non-style guide from the folks behind the @FakeAPStylebook Twitter account will probably appeal to the same people who need the real AP Stylebook recommended above.

  • 17. Samsung Galaxy Note II | Samsung | $699 device only (significantly less with contract)

iPads are nice, but even the mini is too big to really replace the good old fashioned reporter’s notebook. But the tiny Galaxy tablet? Its small size and precise S Pen smart stylus might just make it a realistic replacement for the tried and true half-size, spiral bound news notebook. Forget calling in your notes to your boss, email them immediately along with a photo snapped with its 8 megapixel camera. If you can’t find the Note II in stock for Christmas, I’d bet the journalist in your life would still be happy with the original.

  • 18. Congress Poster | XKCD | $15

The presidential election is over, so give your local political reporter something besides campaign signs and press passes to deck their cubicle with. This poster traces the history of partisanship in the U.S. Congress in a colorful display perfect for staring at while trying to get the person who won’t stop calling off the phone.

  • 19. iPhone camera shutter grip | Photojojo | $40

Miss the tactile feel of pushing down a button when you take a photo, rather than fumbling around on a multitouch screen? This iPhone accessory attaches to your iPhone to help you hold it more steady and have a button to push. You can feel comfortable and more professional by using your iPhone like a standard camera.

  • 20. Newspaper print tote sleeve | Etsy | $40

If you’re too much of a technophile to carry a newspaper around but still like that vintage concept, wrap your Macbook Pro in this protective sleeve — all while supporting independent sellers via Etsy!

For the news applications designer, newsroom web developer, or print-artist-turned-interactives-developer, these UI stencils are a must-have for getting quickly through the brainstorming process. You can get sketchpads and stencils for Android devices, Windows phones, iPads and iPhones.

  • 22. Nate Silver’s ‘The Signal and the Noise’ | Amazon.com | $16.35

After this year’s crazy election cycle and a set of remarkably accurate elections predictions from the New York Times‘ data guy, any seasoned journalist or budding data reporter will love this read.

Because which journalist doesn’t love both NPR and coffee? This is  a cheap, useful gift that you can fill with other journalist-like favors: pencils, red pens, a USB flash drive, some coffee beans, a notepad.

  • 24. Moleskin iPad cover with notepad | Amazon.com | $63

For your tech-savvy, plugged in reporter or editor, this iPad case lets you both tweet, consume or email while you take traditional notes on a pad of paper. Wanna get fancy? This gift pairs well with the dual pen/stylus ($17).

  • 25. Journalist bracelet | Etsy | $11

“Warning: Journalist at work. *Everything is on the record*” reads this awesome 1/2″ aluminum cuff bracelet. Perfect for the reporting fashionista in your newsroom.

Ok, so this one will have to be an IOU gift or a gift that you’ll have to save for someone you won’t see until later, but you can still make the gesture of preordering this Everpurse. You can order now to get this purse delivered by spring. Why is it worth the wait? Because it will charge your phone while serving as a cute accessory. Also great for the journalist on the go who is reporting and filing from the field. It’s one of those gifts that’s worth the wait!

If you need a more gender-neutral version of this gift or can’t wait until spring, you could always try the Moophie Juice Boost Battery ($50) or something similar.

For the social media editor in your life or in your newsroom, these stamps let you give IRL approval and disapproval. Also appropriate for newsroom managers. (Related: Social media magnets).


Because in some newsrooms, meetings never seem to end. This handy notepad (great for a coworker, but probably not a manager) has handy fields for doodling or designating whether a meeting was on or off topic. Oh, and in case you were actually being productive, there’s also a field for real notes and action items — which is a good reminder that from any meeting, there should be action items.

  • 29.  Instagram prints and photo book | Photojojo | $25

This gift is great for the photojournalist in your life who captures those great shots on Instagram and needs a place to display them in real life. Through Photojojo, you can order the book and 10 4×4 prints of photos from your phone. Or, you can give the voucher for the four prints as part of the gift, allowing the recipient to choose their own photos for printing.

For any journalist who wants to remain relevant and up-to-date on the latest trends, the A Book Apart books are the perfect gift and absolute must-reads. The topics covered in this quick books are: Content Strategy for Mobile, Design is a Job, Mobile First,  Responsive Web Design, Elements of Content Strategy, CSS3 for Web Designers and HTML5 for Web Designers. If you can’t afford the full collection, you can also buy individual books, e-versions or pairs.