Jesse McLean (L) and Graeme Smith drink cheap alcohol and talk about their awesome reporting at Eye-Lumni Talks. Nov. 8, 2012. Mohamed Omar / The Eyeopener

What does a reporter take to a war zone?

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Eyeopener Staff

The Eyeopener hosted its first Eye-Lumni Talks, a panel of established journalists, Ryerson grads and previous editors at the Eyeopener, who share their experiences on the field and in the newsroom.

The first event, with Graeme Smith and Jesse McLean, discussed foreign correspondence and what you need to pack before leaving to a warzone.

The two reporters suggested the following:

  • In one front pocket, small bills of the local currency, larger bills in the other
  • In the bagpack: $1,000 in your passport (up to $4,000 more depending on country & length of trip). All in Ziplock bags
  • A Ziplock bag full of pens
  • Re-usable water bottle
  • Gauze
  • Tuna
  • Strongest hand sanitizer you can buy
  • An old beat up Nokia phone
  • Printed out maps
  • All-in-one travel adapter for plug-ins
  • Two collared shirts — even in a warzone you have to look fly
  • A rubber door stop. McLean said that you need it to secure your door at night — just in case someone’s trying to kick it down. Casual
  • Remember to wear comfortable jeans and black Bluntstones. Preferably at the same time
  • Don’t forget your straw hat
  • Lastly, if you have money shooting down your nostrils, a Thuraya phone and a Bgan device

McLean is an investigative reporter at the Toronto Star. Smith was a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Afghanistan.

With files from Liane McLarty

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