I met John Inge Johansen at a Circom Regional conference a few months ago. Based on the remote Lofoten Islands, John Inge works as a video journalist for NRK Nordland, one of the regional stations that makes up NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), Norway’s public broadcaster. I think NRK is probably one of the most progressive media organisations I’ve encountered … it is something I frequently say about NRK, but this recent post on a cycling website prompted me to finally sit down and write this particular blog post.
John Inge’s job title is Lonely Rider – Video Journalist, which is shorthand for doing it all. He is a multi-platform journalist who does everything – covering stories for TV, radio and web. Not only does John Inge cover all the platforms himself in the field but what makes him unique is he frequently does all of this from a bicycle.
I sent him some questions (via email) and here is what he had to say:
1. How did you become a ‘cycling journalist’?
I became a cycling journalist by accident – if it is possible to say that. My regional station NRK Nordland had for several years won an internal competition within our broadcaster. The competition was about gaining mileage by bike on the way TO your office. Then someone thought it would be nice to have a bike for small errands in the close range of the station and the bike was a fact. My area of work is in the outermost region of the region – the Lofoten Islands, and during a series of news stories for the national program we decided to make stories about biking in Lofoten. The branded bike was sent with the coastal steamer, and afterwards I just kept it. It suited a lot of the same needs that my colleagues in Bodø had. Fast response to close-by incidents and so forth. But I would emphasise that I am not a cycling journalist – I am a journalist with a bike as well …
2. Can you explain your set up?
It is just a regular city bike with a small trailer. In my backpacks I carry a Panasonic P2-camera, a Live-U unit, MacBook, batteries, a Canon EOS-650 and a tripod. together with my iPhone that’s pretty much what you need to be an operative in the field. The gear is approx. 20 kg quite light.
3. Do you think the bicycle brings advantages?
During the Arctic Race of Norway (similar to Tour de France) the whole city centre was closed for car traffic for two days. Needless to say – my bike was VERY convenient.
4. Are there times when you can’t use it?
I do not use it if I have to leave my hometown. In other words – i do use my car quite a lot…
5. Do you ever miss the comfort of a car?
Nope – I have the comfort of the car – nobody forces me to go by bike – but it is my private car and not a company-car.
Here are some photographs of John Inge’s set-up:
Thank you to John Inge for taking time to provide these insights. If you know of any other journalists with interesting set ups please share in the comments below.