Audio – Quote by Author and Travel Journalist Tom Miller

https://soundcloud.com/larissamiller2497/computational-journ-kjb101-larissa-miller

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What is the future of Travel Journalism through the impact of Globalisation?

Introduction

The world of travel journalism has changed over the last few decades, as the world has become more interconnected than ever before. Through the introduction and advancement of social media and blogging, means any traveller can share their experiences with their audience’s globally. Now that travelling is greatly accessible and relatively affordable, it has only increased the frequency of travel[1]. This rise of modernity has caused a rapid development in travel journalism, as the difference between a professional travel writer and an amateur travel blogger is merging[2]. This has raised questions on the impact globalisation has had on the professionalism and authenticity of travel journalism. With the advancements of technology and the increase connectedness of the world, the 21st century has seen globalisation impact both positively and negatively to the future of travel journalism.

Travel journalism can be difficult to define, as it includes many multiple aspects of travel such as culture, history, ecology, business, recreation and adventures[3]. Also known as the genre of ‘travel literature’, journalists specialise in the field of travel journalism, relaying their travel experiences to others[4]. Historically, travel journalism has been a key component in shaping people’s perceptions of the world beyond their borders and of history itself[5]. As for centuries travel writers have related their experiences to the moral development and spiritual significance of life[6]. Ultimately, travel journalism seeks to describe places to an audience, providing unique insight into the changing notions of culture, mobility and media[7].

 

Technological Advancement and Social Media Impact – Positives and Negatives

The recent establishment of globalisation in the 21st century has resulted in a radically changed travel writing landscape for global audiences. Globalisation refers to the rapid development of complex interconnections between cultures, societies, institutions and individuals worldwide[8]. Technological advancements have significantly contributed towards the development of globalisation, redefining it as means of communication and entertainment[9]. Travel journalism with the help of technology has expanded through the classifications of television programming, international broadcasts, the internet and social media platforms[10]. The internet in particular has drastically changed the world’s level of communication and has increased global connectivity. With such a highly technological and multicultural society, audiences are now connected through the internet more than ever before. This has ultimately provided travel journalism with a sense of directionality[11].

The internet has become more sociable than searchable, purely due to the increase in social media use and forms of online blogging[12]. Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as web 2.0 applications like blogs and Google have changed the travel industry and the journalism practice[13]. By examining the data visualisation, the use of social media platforms worldwide has increased dramatically from 2011-2015 and is projected to increase by roughly 180 users in 2017.

Statistically, social networks and blogs are the most popular online classifications, with 6.7 million people blogging on blog sites and 12 million people blogging via social media networks[14]. In the journalistic field of travel writing, good travel writing is a blend of journalism and creativity, with a dash of insight[15]. It is therefore essential that travel journalists obtain accuracy, thoroughness and good writing and research skills[16]. In achieving this, it can be greatly beneficial for journalists to create a personal online blog. With a 31% increase in bloggers over the past three years and with 77% of internet users reading blogs[17], blogging can gain a journalist credibility and professional recognition[18]. Other networking platforms, such as Twitter have also become a valued resource for travel journalists, as it raises a profile, establishes contacts and allows for interaction with other travel writers[19].

While the current technological landscape demonstrates tremendous promise and presents numerous opportunities for travel and it practitioners, there are also some challenges[20]. As the field of travel journalism is quite broad and the internet is freely accessible, it allows for anyone to propose and explore new models of communication and coordination without having to seek another’s permission[21]. Social media has helped to bridge the gap between a person and the world, however now any individual with a camera or a keyboard is a non-profit writer, giving self-publishing a sense of normality[22]. This claiming that the objectivity, authority and quality of travel journalism is currently being challenged, creates a blur between a professional travel writer and an amateur travel blogger.

Loss of Credibility or Expression of Opinion?

Modern times have seen a decrease in the amount of print media due to the online alternative, travel journalism has had to also adapt and change[23]. Travel blogging and use of social media platforms can both advantage and disadvantage the credibility of a travel journalist. The free and easy access to travel blogging can be a fantastic skill tool for amateur travel bloggers, however it can also undermine the authenticity of a professional travel writer. The modernisation of the world is only enhancing, with new technologies and social media. The internet is expanding and is creating both beneficial and detrimental factors to the field of travel journalism.

Traditionally, travel journalism has been perceived as the ‘insignificant’ group of journalism[24]. A substantial amount of scholars and practitioners do not take it quite as seriously as other forms of journalism, often belittling its relevance or importance[25]. This is due to the ill-informed perception that travel journalism is purely writing about the luxurious, pretty and touristy aspects of destinations, while encompassing multiple viewpoints[26]. In the past, travel was a prized experience and extremely expensive, however with the increased affordability of travel, the frequency of people travelling has increased[27].

The combination of the modern internet and the increase in travel worldwide, has seen people of any journalistic or non-journalistic background write and publish their travel experiences online[28]. This is where the lines between a professional travel writer and an amateur travel blogger have slightly blurred, questioning the authenticity of travel journalism. Due to this, travel journalism has emerged as a form of lifestyle journalism[29]. Some may argue that the use of blogging and self-publishing platforms has detrimentally effected the professionalism of travel journalism. The photograph included demonstrates this, as it depicts a young school boy surrounded by the forms of globalisation and planning his travels at the young age of 13. As the advancement of social media through photo sharing and blogging has influenced the ability for unqualified travel writers to publish their stories. Travellers such as backpackers and foreign exchange students have written travel blogs, demonstrating the reality that a person doesn’t have to be a journalist or obtain any qualifications to blog[30]. Professional travel writers can be perceived as seeking the truth, beauty and pleasure of a destination to create inspiring stories about human nature. While travel bloggers can be depicted as publishing stories that are more based on acquired knowledge and personal beliefs[31].

Some may question a travel journalist’s credibility due to the internet’s increase in mediocre content. However, the interconnectedness between counties and cultures worldwide allows for aspiring travel journalists to express their beliefs and opinions freely. Since travel journalism is about connecting a traveller’s experience with their audience, it is significant for writers to communicate a sense of dignity, respect, appreciation and understanding on life[32]. In this way it allows journalists to self-publish, giving them complete control of all content written and produced, meaning that creativity is never neglected[33]. Blogging is all about creativity and personality[34], therefore it can also be very beneficial for a journalist to effectively express themselves through the form of online blogging.

Additionally, the social media sphere creates a place where audiences are personalised, diversified and fragmented[35]. However can it be seen as decreasing a journalist’s credibility or increasing a journalist’s freedom of expression?

Conclusion

Travel journalism, with its tales from foreign lands, certainly has influenced audiences’ views of other cultures[36]. The impact of globalisation has rapidly development in the past few decades, improving the connection between people globally. Almost every aspect of life on an international scale has been a result of globalisation[37] and with travel becoming easier, faster and more accessible, the frequency of travelling has increased along with an increase in the amount of online travel writing. Globalisation has both enhanced and hindered travel journalism’s credibility and authenticity as a field and has managed to create an overlap between a professional travel writer and an amateur travel blogger.

[1] http://au.blurb.com/blog/the-evolution-of-travel-writing-in-the-digital-age (Accessed May 22, 2015)

[2] http://everything-everywhere.com/2009/10/12/travel-blogging-vs-travel-writing/ (Accessed May 22, 2015)

[3] http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pdf (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[4] http://www.bobbrooke.com/WritersCorner/whatistravelwriting.htm (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[5] http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to-move-from-travel-blogging-to-travel-journalism/ (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[6] http://ejournalist.com.au/v3n2/knightr.pdf (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[7] http://www.academia.edu/3364703/Why_we_travel_Picturing_global_mobility_in_user-generated_travel_journalism (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[8] http://www.carolinamatos.com/globalization-and-the-mass-media/ (Accessed May 20, 2015)

[9] http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/the-influence-of-modern-technology-on-society-good-or-bad (Accessed May 15, 2015)

[10] http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/05/us/barbara-walters—fast-facts/ (Accessed May 15, 2015)

[11] http://www.academia.edu/346486/Technological_Advancements_and_Its_Impact_on_Humanity (Accessed May 14, 2015)

[12] https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Journalism%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Social%20Media.pdf (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[13] http://www.academia.edu/346486/Technological_Advancements_and_Its_Impact_on_Humanity  (Accessed May 11, 2015)

[14] https://www.marketingtechblog.com/blogconomy-blogging-statistics/ (Accessed May 15, 2015)

[15] http://astw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=179 (Accessed May 10, 2015)

[16] http://www.theguardian.com/careers/travel-journalism-careers (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[17] http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[18] http://ijnet.org/en/stories/ten-tips-aspiring-travel-journalists (Accessed May 20, 2015)

[19] http://ijnet.org/en/stories/ten-tips-aspiring-travel-journalists (Accessed May 20, 2015)

[20] https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Journalism%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Social%20Media.pdf (Accessed May 9, 2015)

[21] https://storify.com/MingHanLim/future-of-travel-journalism (Accessed May 10, 2015)

[22] https://storify.com/MingHanLim/future-of-travel-journalis (Accessed May 10, 2015)

[23] http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/travel-bloggers-or-writers (Accessed May 26, 2015)

[24] http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pdf (Accessed May 24, 2015)

[25] http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pdf (Accessed May 24, 2015)

[26] http://wanderlostmag.com/2015/05/10/reflecting-on-my-experiences-with-travel-journalism/ (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[27] http://au.blurb.com/blog/the-evolution-of-travel-writing-in-the-digital-age (Accessed May 22, 2015)

[28] http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pdf (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[29] http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pd (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[30] http://contently.net/2014/07/25/stories/im-traveler-writer-serious-problem-travel-writing/ (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[31] http://youngadventuress.com/2014/05/make-money-travel-blogging.html (Accessed May 25, 2015)

[32] http://contently.net/2014/07/25/stories/im-traveler-writer-serious-problem-travel-writing/ (Accessed May 12, 2015)

[33] http://www.runawayjane.com/the-benefits-of-being-a-travel-blogger/ (Accessed May 28, 2015)

[34] http://everything-everywhere.com/2009/10/12/travel-blogging-vs-travel-writing/ (Accessed May 27, 2015)

[35] https://storify.com/MingHanLim/future-of-travel-journalism (Accessed May 10, 2015)

[36]

http://rashmithapaliya.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/9/2/31924823/travel_journalism.pdf (Accessed May 23, 2015)

[37] http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-16_u-400_t-989_c-3789/the-impact-of-globalisation-individuals-local-national-and-global/wa/ (Accessed May 10, 2015)