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Tue - 25.10.2016

Travel journalism - too often overlooked?

Travel journalism - too often overlooked?

Many people would say that travel journalists are some of the luckiest people around; they get paid to go on holiday, right?

Well, maybe sometimes, but Peter Greenberg, in an article on Poynter, argues that this perception is based on the media industry's own undervaluation of travel journalism.

Greenberg is the travel editor for CBS News, hosts the radio programme Peter Greenberg Worldwide which is syndicated across America, and has won an Emmy for his work in journalism.

The problem, Greenberg says, is that he is the only well-known journalist in his field; in his article he lists a host of news organisations - NBC, ABC, CNN and FOX- who are all without travel correspondents.

The situation is little better in the UK. Many publications, The Guardian included, simply offers what appears to be a holiday guide; a useful and well written holiday guide, but not exactly news. The BBC does have a travel news section, but it focuses primarily on road works. Its main travel section is produced in partnership with Lonely Planet - so yet again, it is more of a guidebook than industry-specific news.

So why do many major news organisations not put a greater emphasis on travel journalism?

Greenberg cites the old adage that being travel editor was a position where a journalist could do no harm, a place to be put out to pasture. Neither the media nor the public realise how economically crucial the travel industry, which contributes 9.5 percent of global GDP, has become in an increasingly globalised world. It is undoubtedly newsworthy, he argues.

However, there are of course some news organisations that could be closer to realising Greenberg's dream of a brand of travel journalism which addresses the travel industry as an industry. The Telegraph's travel news section includes health warnings, industry developments and legal cases related to travel, in addition to the usual helpful holiday hints.

So, is it time that the media reassessed its priorities in this area? Travel makes our increasingly globalised world ever smaller; yet, while its economic significance increases, the industry is also facing huge environmental challenges. This leads directly to the question that Greenberg is asking: how can the media afford to ignore travel journalism?

Sources: BBC Travel News, The Guardian, Peter Greenberg Worldwide, Poynter, The Telegraph. Image: Press Gazette



Katherine Travers


2011-08-26 13:58

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