Week 9: Journey as a Journalist

Today, I have the inevitable task of scrolling through my social media feed to discover something travel related, leaving me wanderlust and wondering which location I plan to visit next…

Tourism Journalism: The new way to collect, disseminate and analyse all things TRAVEL to the general public by means of the internet. Oh, did I mention you can TRAVEL?

Not only has citizen journalism been a transformational shift for news reporters (more specifically significant world events), it has been momentous for the travel and tourism industry, where social media participation is critical for tourism businesses in becoming the primary way to connect with today’s customers. Travel journalists utilize platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and travel blogs to distribute content on a regular basis to a wide audience (collective intelligence), overall reducing high cost of entry, high risk and a quality filter.

What this has created is a participatory culture, where tourism journalists can offer suggestions based on prior experience, whilst receiving feedback and overall enhancing a tourist’s travel experience – by making travel planning and budgeting much easier. Previously formed on a basis of ‘traditional journalism’,the control has now shifted from a centralised and institutional media approach (Travel Agents) to one that is much more diverse, allowing for a wide variety of content, from a extensive list of locations, by a multiplicity of individuals.

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As feared by Jurrat (2011), professionalism has been undermined in the new realm of citizen journalism, where too much importance is placed on personal accounts and likability. This is exemplified by an LA tourist posing for a picture in a ‘hipster hang-out’ location in front of a homeless man.