What sort of travel journalist do you want to be: sensible specialist or insane adventurer?We’ll do sensible later – the stuff about how difficult it is to make money as a travel writer.
The need to treat travel as seriously as you would any other specialism.
How you need to cultivate both editors and travel PRs, the rock and the hard place between which you place yourself as a travel writer.
Let’s do the adventurous, exciting stuff first.
The exciting approach to travel journalism is for people who love adventure and maybe danger, don’t care about money and security and just want to have a great time and tell others about it.
One who takes that approach is Robin Esrock.
Just look at this video of his, about the world's most dangerous hike.
This is probably the sort of thing you dream about if you want to be a real traveller, an adventurer...
In that video Robin Esrock demonstrates pretty much all that needs to be said about how being a travel writer can be so electrifying.
But how do you get to be paid for doing stuff like that?
Modern GonzoWe’ll be profiling Robin, who’s carved out a brilliant career for himself as a newspaper, TV and online travel writer, in a later module.
He calls what he does Modern Gonzo, inspired by the exploits of Hunter S Thompson.
We’ll also take a close look at how to approach travel journalism in a more sober way – to treat it as seriously as any other specialism: international journalism, sport, politics or business.
The ways to tell travel stories module is really central to this masterclass. Travel stories can be told on social media – via Twitter, Gowalla, using Google maps, with video clips on YouTube or Vimeo, stills on Instagram nd audio on Audioboo.
The TwitchhikerOne exponent of the new social and online style of travel – who has also got a book out of his exploits - is Paul Smith, who goes by the screen name of Twitchhiker.
We’ll be profiling him, and showing how it's possible to use both new and old media as a travel writer.
Then there is the traditional travel feature for print. I love writing them, and I’ll try to show how to make a text travel article great feature, and a really good story as well.
The top 10 UK travel writers are profiled, and there are links to their work - so you can learn from the best in the busiess.