by Korey Hope
Some of the most fulfilling experiences in life are learning experiences. When we learn a new piece of information or in-depth information about a single topic, the way we see the world effectively changes. For example, once you learn in-depth about the fast food industries standards for quality, it’s rather hard to expel that knowledge from your mind every time you think about fast food.
Learning about travel journalism has had a similar effect on my “lens” through which I see the world, specifically the world of journalism and marketing. First of all, the realm of journalism is enormous. The breadth of writing and news topics hadn’t dawned on me until taking this course. I see journalism as the mediator of information between all people and all things people do. Journalism and media are how people know what’s going on outside of their immediate surroundings. This is a priceless tool available to anyone who seeks it: having awareness about what’s going on throughout the rest of the world.
However, if the nature of media is to be the mediator, that comes with huge responsibility. On top of mediating, it is the job of journalists to be as objectively truthful as possible in order to maintain a relationship of trust and credibility among people of the world. Everything in the world of journalism revolves around this trust. If it was no longer there, journalism would never be the same.
With that being said, such responsibility comes with huge power, too. Having the ability to change people’s perceptions can be dangerous if used improperly. But if used properly, it is certainly empowering to feel like you’ve furthered the reader’s understanding.
That was the most satisfying aspect of this term. The combination of getting a better grip on the variety of journalism topics out there, and sharpening my skills in both understanding and contributing to the sector of travel journalism.
Speaking on a related note, I love to learn. And in this term I gained valuable insight into the travel industry about both tourists and the ways in which destinations market themselves. As I just mentioned, I feel as though I now have a much better understanding of the travel journalism world and how it works. Serving as the mediator between the travel industry and travelers, travel journalism has to sift through everything that has to do with travel and determine what it wants to highlight. This is no different from any other area of journalism (sports, political, local news, etc.), but the travel industry is completely dependent on having customers. If everyone stopped traveling, thousands of travel-related businesses would suffer. This may be no different than any other area of journalism, too, although its especially true in the travel sector. For this reason, destinations will always be looking for ways to market their “product.” Understanding this tiny piece of information is already enough to change my lens through which I consume travel journalism. I’m always on the lookout for the motive behind a travel story, and the learning that took place for that to happen is an experience I both deem necessary for my success and one that I thoroughly enjoy.