Original article from December 12, 2018. Revised November 10, 2021 by News Media Alliance staff.
Ever wondered what to get the journalist in your life? It’s no easy feat, since journalists live on coffee and Election Night pizza and crave little more than truth, justice and the occasional deadline extension. But if you feel up to the task of giving the news professional in your life a holiday gift, we’ve rounded up some options that even the most jaded journalist will love almost as much as they love breaking news and scooping the competition – maybe more!
“Democracy Dies in Darkness” T-shirt
Those working in the news media can literally make a statement with this t-shirt. The Washington Post‘s slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” is what press freedom is all about. What better way to show support for our right to be informed? It makes a great gift for everyone in the family. Also comes in charcoal grey.
Portable Charging Bank
Journalists are always on the go, and these days, they use their phones as portable offices. After all, not every story can be covered from your desk. But what happens when your story takes you so far from the office that you can’t find an outlet to charge your phone and keep working? That’s where this handy power bank comes in. Not only will you get multiple charges out of this compact bank that has more than 9,000 Amazon reviews, but it’s so small and lightweight, you can slip it in your pocket and charge as you work, no matter where your story takes you.
Even if you have a fully-charged phone, no journalist would dare go into the field without a good notebook – it’s unheard of! But you don’t want to send your journalist to work with some slipshod notebook that will fall apart on its first use. Instead, spring for the Rite in the Rain notebook. The size and shape is perfect to shove in your back pocket as you run out the door to follow the action, and the pages are waterproof, so even a hurricane won’t ruin your notes. (Editor’s Note: I got my first Rite in the Rain from a U.S. Marine combat artist, and if it can survive a tour of duty in Iraq, it can survive anywhere.)
A News Book from Your Birth Year
Newspapers tell the stories of our lives – sometimes literally, and sometimes by teaching us about the world around us at a given moment. Celebrate your journalist with a collection of front pages from their birth year. You can get a New York Times birthday book, or you can choose to get a book created from Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, or Dallas Morning News clips. Whichever collection you choose, your giftee is sure to enjoy re-reading the news for years to come!
The smell of old paper may be a turn-off to some, but to a journalist, it’s practically an aphrodisiac. Give a reporter or editor a pile of vintage newspapers and the first thing they’ll do is take a sniff, nostalgic for all the things those old papers represent. So why not let them get that joy with less of a fire hazard? Demeter Fragrance’s Paperback scent smells just like an old library full of yellowed books and newspapers, and your journalist is sure to love it. The only smell better is a fresh pot of coffee when you’re on deadline – and Demeter has that scent, too!
No one can burn you with their words like a journalist. The sharp-witted and equally sharp-tongued writers of the news media love a good turn of phrase, and the writer in your life will get endless joy exploring all the many insults on this bright poster. Now, they’ll have new ways of silently snubbing the sources who don’t return calls and the editors who kill their darlings.
Newspaper Charm Necklace
Journalists are not often known for their keen fashion sense. Most of us would live in sweatpants and t-shirts if we could get away with it. But that doesn’t mean the journalist in your life doesn’t like getting dressed up now and then. And there’s no better way to accessorize for a night out – or even a day at the office – than with this cute charm necklace from the GSakowskiStudioLite shop on Etsy. The mismatched set of gold-plated studs includes a news microphone and a camera, and while the earrings don’t match each other, they will match whatever outfit your journalist wears with them! More journalist jewelry options here.
“Can I Quote You?” Mug
Everyone knows you can’t just talk in front of a writer – you’ll end up in all their stories! So why not let your journalist know you’ve figured them out by getting them this coffee mug that saves them the trouble of asking, “Can I quote you on that?” They’ll be the hit of the newsroom and will never have to remind anyone that they are always on the record. Here‘s another witty option to show your pride as a journalist while you sip your morning joe.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget your favorite editor! This snarky t-shirt is perfect for any editor in the newsroom, whether they work in print, digital, audio or television. Every editor has had a day where they’ve cursed the writers and reporters they work with and the fact that they have to somehow crank out polished copy on deadline with such unreliable staffers. Usually, they get over it by the next deadline, but they won’t let their writers know. Let them remind the journalists they work with just how important they are with this t-shirt, which is sure to go into regular rotation in their wardrobe.
“I Will Write 500 Words” Print
Nothing will make your writer smile as much as seeing this print on their desk as they approach yet another deadline. Based on The Proclaimers song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” this cute print will get a classic song stuck in your journalist’s head and make them hum as they work… and help relieve at least a little of the stress that comes with being a journalist. Just don’t expect them to write 1,000 words for you, or you might not get a gift in return.
Printing Press Blueprint
This blueprint of the patent drawing for a 1914 vintage printing press patent is perfect for anyone who works in newspaper production, and it will warm your media worker’s heart that you still appreciate print in this increasingly digital age. Sold by the Neue Studio Art Prints shop on Etsy.
Trust Me, I’m a Journalist Flask
Some news days are rougher than others, so let your reporter know you care by gifting them this classic flask – maybe pre-filled with their favorite adult beverage. Sure, it feeds into stereotypes about journalists being boozehounds, but your newshound will appreciate the joke, especially if they’re working through the holidays to meet their deadlines.
Jennifer Peters is former content manager of the News Media Alliance.