Consider this lightweight but professional-level option for your newspaper staff and classroom tutorials.
The Kodak zi8 (which is now out of production but available on places like Amazon) is a step up from the flip camera, but doesn’t carry an additional expense. What this compact video camera has that the flip doesn’t is 10 hours of recording over 1 hour on the flip, and a mic jack for capturing better audio. Hook up a lavaliere mic and bring back useable audio.
With the gorillapod, stable video becomes possible with either something like the zi8, flip, or iPhone. This type of tripod also provides more flexibility in positioning the camera. For less than $10, an adapter called a glif will hold the iPhone in place for steady video.
I took an on-line course with Bill Horn from the New York Times Learning Network, and this is the solution the NYTimes came up with for journalists who needed equipment but didn’t want to lug around extra weight to accomodate today’s 24/7 reporting.