Trainee Journalist

December 14, 2021 (Updated )

Sure, we might bang on a lot about how being a journalist isn’t an identity – but there are probably some common threads as to what gifts we’d like to find sitting under the Christmas tree.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect present for an accomplished journalist, a stocking filler for a journalism student, or something for an aspiring writer, we’ve got you covered. Heck, you might even find something for yourself. In which case, just leave the browser open somewhere really obvious…

Stop! Can You Help Us For Free With Your Shop?

If you’re shopping for gifts online, you can help us get free cash absolutely free. No, really, this isn’t a scam.

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful people at Easy Fundraising, who work with retailers to get free donations for good causes every time you shop with them. All you need to do is sign up, download the browser extension or mobile app, and you’re away.

Join using this link and we’ll get an extra 20% on everything you raise.

Journo Resources
The Stationary Edit

It’s probably a safe bet that your journalist pal loves some good stationary (we all do), and it’s also pretty useful for the day job. Here’s a quick round-up of some of our recommended bits and bobs.

One Of These Aesthetically Pleasing Daily Planners

Journo Resources
Journo Resources

Personally, if I didn’t plan my day on paper I’d be lost by lunchtime. We tried out a fancy Daily Planner from Papier and absolutely loved it – you get sections for 16 weeks, all undated so you can use them whenever you like.

As well as helping you track your to-dos, there’s also space to set and review personal goals, or even what you’re having for dinner tonight. (Ed. I am literally buying one of these right now.)

These planners are all around £20-25 and come in loads of stunning designs, from an abstract of your fruit bowl to some French Bulldogs having a whale of a time.

Prices start at £20.39 on their website and we also have a handy discount code here for £15 off your first order!

A Pack Of Uber-Handy Notepads

Image: Pukka.

If your journalist is on-the-go and constantly taking notes, help make it less stressful with these Pukka Shortie Pads – ideal for shorthand or any other notes.

Fun fact – these spiral notepads are typically ideal for journos because you can flip them more quickly when taking notes, and you can draw in your own margin to add annotations for your shorthand. Now you know.

You get three shortie pads for under a tenner this way or from Pukka’s own website (bargain).

This Super-Smart Notebook Holder

Image: Pukka.

A good addition to those handy notepads is this Pukka notebook holder – they make scribbling stuff down feel a little bit fancier, and also reduce the likelihood of damaging in bag spills.

It’s a bit of a higher price at £15.95 but their very jazzy designs make it worth it. Plus, this holder also comes with two notebooks, one lined for your notes, and one plain for any freeform doodling.

Find them here for £15.99.

A Subscription To This Transcription App

So this one isn’t technically stationary per se – but the chances are you’re recording at least some of your interviews. For your interview-savvy journalist, an Otter subscription could be the perfect gift that saves them literal buckets of time.

It’s saved my life many times. (Image credit:

Made for automatically writing up meeting notes, we’ve found that Otter is great for uploading audio recordings of your Zoom or phone call interviews, instead of re-listening to your own voice whilst you listen for important quotes.

It’s not perfect, but is good enough to help you get to the important bits super quickly. Their basic plan is free but can only transcribe live meetings and chats.

To upload pre-recorded interviews, sign up for their Pro plan from £6.04/month!

Journo Resources
The Uber-Handy Toolkit

We recently covered the best gear for a journalist’s old kit bag – and that’s a steady place to start for a practical gift. If you’re after some quick picks, here are some of our best and highly useful present ideas.

A Next-Level Smartphone Rig

Image: Amazon

We picked out this smartphone rig that does it all – video and audio. For video journalists who want a bit of compact kit to take their work to the next level, this Movo Rig is an affordable option to bypass the whole DSLR thing, allowing you to achieve top-notch professional video on your phone.

It comes with a stereo microphone, padded grip, and a wrist strap, and can be pretty much fitted onto any smartphone in the market.

Available now for £29.99.

A Dictaphone For The Traditional Journalist

Image: Amazon.

If your journalist is still out and about doing in-person interviews (jealous!), you could do much worse than pick up a proper dictaphone.

As well as having better quality recordings (so you can use them for broadcast or just reduce mistakes in transcription) you can also buy a combination of leads to plug this into your phone so you can record directly. That’s right, the gift of no longer having to put your phone on loudspeaker while you record from your laptop.

This Zoom H-n1 is currently only £74.50 on Amazon.

A Trusty Journalism Coat

Image: Amazon.

We spotted journalists on Twitter discussing what makes a good ‘journalism coat’ – it has to be warm enough to stand at crime scenes, professional enough to interview politicians, have big enough pockets for a notebook, and (most importantly) a hood to make sure you don’t get rained on.

Here’s our current favourite all-weather coat – it’s also Amazon’s Choice, whatever that means.

Available here from £36.99.

Journo Resources
Our Thoughtful Picks

Some Cool Indie Mags (Or A Subscription!)

Journalists, broadly, are big fans of reading. But occasionally, we’d just like something different, you know? If you (or they) don’t know where to look, fear not. Print isn’t dead, and you could gift them some thoughtful, independent IRL magazines. I hear you say, what’s different about that? Take a look.

We love magazines and treats. Image: Akin.

Akin Magazine is an independent lifestyle publication that helps lift up indie creatives and businesses. As well as their own mag, they stock the best indie publications and it’s regularly updated so you can find something new. Our faves our Courier, gal-dem and Aussie staple Frankie.

They even have a ‘Magazine Treat Box’ – a mag of your choice, plus an artisan vegan choc bar and some tasty tea, from only £14. Yum.

Single magazines from £8, or the Magazine Treat Box from £14 available here.

Some of Stack’s latest selections. Image: Stack.

If those don’t strike your fancy, take a look at Stack Magazines. They seek out ‘the world’s best independent magazines’ to choose a different one for each month – you never know what you’ll get next.

Setting your journalist up with a Christmas gift subscription has three tiers, for three (£24), six (£48), or twelve (£80) magazines starting January 2022.

Stack subscriptions from £24 on their website.

A Journo Resources Membership

Okay, forgive us for the shameless self-promo. We’re guessing that since you’re here, your journalist or journalism student pal already follows us and maybe reads our weekly newsletter.

But did you know that’s not all we do? We have three membership tiers that get you extra goodies, including access to all of our past and future events and more. Whatever point in their career they are, they’ll find practical events to help them move forward, exclusive discount codes, and our beautiful printed magazine.

An overview of our membership tiers.

Want us to send you a gift certificate for your journalist to open on the big day? Just email after you’ve ordered.

You can find our membership options here from £4 per month.

Journo Resources
The Treat Selection

A Good Book To Curl Up With

We’re dreaming of a Christmas spent curled up beside the fire with an excellent book. After asking the Journo Resources team for their recommendations, here are some of our favourites:

Journo Resources
Journo Resources
  • The Trans-Gender Issue By Shon FayeTrans people in Britain today have become a culture war ‘issue’. In this powerful read, Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the ‘transgender issue’.
  • Black Joy: Edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Timi Sotire, there are 28 voices in this uplifting and empowering anthology celebrating being Black British.
  • AirheadEmily Maitlis knows what she’s doing and she’s here to share it with us. Here’s the rundown of everything you don’t see on screen and the moments that never make the news.

Or, Penguin Books have a whole list dedicated to the best must-read books by journalists if you’re looking for familiar names and we also put together a whole rundown of books by journalists over this way.

…And Some Yummy Chocolates To Eat

Image: Guylian.

Perfect for a journalist filing copy late at night, or anyone on a deadline and needing a boost. To be honest, it’s probably worth buying two packs to see you through present buying season.

Our favourites are these Guylian’s chocolate seashells – which you can usually find at the shop if you’ve left it last minute!

Or, here on Amazon for £7.79!

An Elusive Twitter Blue Tick

We joke. Or do we? Here at JR we can only wish (yes, our own Twitter verification application got rejected again).

But we reckon if you sneakily applied for Twitter verification on your journalist’s account and actually got it, it would make their year. Worth a shot?

You can witness journalists’ tears on Twitter in real time.

Please note, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you go onto make a purchase after you click on them, we may receive a payment. This costs you nothing extra and helps us to keep the site running.
Fern McErlane
Fern McErlane

Fern joined the Journo Resources team in mid-2021 as a trainee, and will focus on writing original features and content during her time at Journo Resources. Fern also takes the lead on our Instagram account, as well as keeping our resources and jobs board up to date.

Based in Leeds, where she completed her degree and was part of the editing team for her student paper The Gryphon, Fern is also a freelance journalist and is available for commissions on a range of lifestyle subjects.