At the Future of Freelancing conference in June at Stanford University, Richard Koci Hernandez, a Ford Foundation Multimedia Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, gave an excellent presentation on multimedia reporting.

It essentially boiled down to “teach yourself.” That’s nothing new for freelancers. But doing all the research to find out what we need to get started and where to find it – that can be a real time-suck, assuming you can even find this information. And that’s what was so valuable about Hernandez’ presentation. In one hour, he ticked off his recommendations of audio and video equipment as well as software programs we’d need to get started. All of it is geared for beginners and carries a price freelancers can afford – most of the equipment is under $200 and much of the software is free. He recommended websites where we could learn the basics. He pointed us to sources of audio, video and still images to illustrate our stories.

Many of us were amazed at how magnanimously he shared his knowledge. With Hernandez’ permission, I’ll continue in that spirit and “pay it forward” by passing on some of the golden nuggets.

Pocket video cam: Kodak Zi8

Low-cost tripod for video cam: Gorillapod

Digital audio recorder: Edirol R-09HR

Microphone: Sennheiser MD-42

Produce a slideshow with sound: Soundslides

Edit your sound files: Audacity

Edit your video: YouTube’s recently-launched online video editor

Illustrate your stories with maps: Umapper

Create timelines for your stories: Dipity or VuVox

Find public domain clips of audio, music, video or still images: Internet Archive, Audiojungle, Creative Commons

Create graphs, charts, word clouds and other types of visualizations: Many Eyes

Best site for online tutorials:

Get tips on online storytelling from Ira Glass on YouTube

Useful websites on digital journalism: 10,000 Words, Interactive Narratives and The Poynter Institute’s News University