The road more travelled : how user-generated content can lead to homogenized travel journalism
Date of Issue2015
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Travel journalism is one source travellers turn to in order to research a destination, alongside friends who have been there, guidebooks, websites, blogs, user review sites, and chat rooms. But the travel journalists they consult would also have consulted these sources and planned their trip based on what they find there. This paper examines whether homogeneous tourism reports maintain existing power relations, or whether travel journalists challenge this via heterogeneous, alternative reports. It questions travel journalism students about their use of and attitudes towards online travel media. Employing interviews and a survey, it finds that homogeneous travel attitudes and reports are highly influential in directing them in what to see and what to think about it—maintaining existing power relations and ideologies of tourism. Even when they actively expressed a desire for heterogeneous alternative viewpoints and agendas, Internet media directed them back towards mainstream tourist themes. The implications for more self-reflexive and varied attitudes towards tourism and tourism media are discussed.
© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Continuum on 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10304312.2015.1073686.