A French youngster sorts through apples at a market in Brignoles. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
Travel writers versus travel bloggers – does anyone really care?
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — For some time now, travel writers and bloggers have been debating about the relative merits of their chosen platforms. Bloggers claim that the immediacy of their posts, often written from the road, give readers a sense that they’re traveling along.
Some traditional travel scribes — and by that I mean writers who go on a trip, take notes and pictures, do research, then go home and write a story that appears in a magazine or newspaper a few months later — apparently feel that at least some travel blogs are under-reported, in the sense that they lack context. In some of these online debates, I’ve also seen some travel editors claim that some of the most popular travel bloggers don’t convey a sense of place, that they make they make the story all about themselves.
Although I’ve dabbled in travel blogging, I’d have to agree with at least part of that argument. At least a few of the bloggers who bill themselves as successfully making a career from their travel postings seem to think that the whole world revolves around them. The writing is pedestrian at best, sometimes includes egregious mistakes, and the photography often is somewhere around the level of what you might find in a family snapshot album, or worse.
In defense, bloggers have responded that personality is everything, and that their readers expect them to inject themselves and their subjective opinions into the story; whether they back up those opinions with any other views or facts seems irrelevant to them. And — who knows — judging by the number of people following their blogs and tweets they may be right.
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