So, when they asked if we'd do a UMB newsletter takeover of Talking Travel Writing in October—with a focus on decolonising and modernising travel writing—of course, we said yes.
Throughout October, starting on Tuesday 5th October, Talking Travel Writing subscribers will receive one free newsletter a week from us. Expect our take on why we need to re-examine travel writing and thoughts on the future of travel media, as well as mini-interviews and insights from a few people we admire in the industry.
Usually, the first Talking Travel Writing newsletter of each month is free to all subscribers, then the rest are sent to paid subscribers. But, during our UMB takeover for the month of October, every edition of TTW will be free and available to all.
How do we draw the line between your personal experience of a place, adding colour, honesty and even humour to a feature, and resorting to stereotypes?
Sometimes, it’s all too easy to throw in stories of dodgy tummies, ticket touts and rude service, when there are better and much less lazy stories to tell (that perhaps don't elevate colonial narratives above those used by the people that live there). Ask yourself if this is typical of the experience a reader is likely to have when they visit. If it probably isn't and you still want to include it, make it clear that this is your own anecdote and not commonplace.
Or, if it does happen frequently to tourists, suggest ways of getting around it, e.g. 'There are stories of fake notes in X: Make sure you do Y to avoid being on the receiving end of this tactic.'
September welcomed the second issue of Tonic, a new drinks and travel print magazine. Founded by Rob Ellison and Benita Finanzio, it’s making waves in the drinks industry, not least for its focus on independent producers, people of colour in the drinks arena, and for its refreshing take on the world of drinks and travel, way beyond Western Europe and North America. Find out about Iran’s Shiraz legacy, listen to Rob interview craft beer brewers inspired by flavours from Africa, and read about whisky in India.
As news of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan broke, many of us felt helpless. Among the countless ways to donate and support, the Network of Women in Media, India set up a Journalists for Afghanistan fundraiser with the Media Safety & Solidarity Fund (MSSF), using the sales of incredible images, courtesy of the Associated Press from its coverage of Afghanistan. The photographs capture everyday life in Afghanistan from the past 20 years and show courage and resilience in times of uncertainty. See the images on Instagram or to buy prints, go to Journalists for Afghanistan. All proceeds go towards supporting Afghan women journalists.
Kellee Edwards speaks to Jin Prugsawan, chief of interpretation, education and volunteers at Haleakalā National Park in Hawaii.
Did You Know?
Yesterday, Thursday 30 September 2021, was Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to remember and honour the country’s lost Indigenous children and survivors of the state-sponsored “residential school” system—a period during which many Indigenous children were removed from their families to attend residential schools, where they could not speak their native languages and were mentally and physically abused, some never to return home.
A legacy of Canada’s own problematic colonial history, the objective of these schools was to erase the languages, traditions and culture of the country’s First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. An estimated 150,000 children were taken from their home to often-faraway schools between 1883 and 1997.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which took place between 2008 and 2015, described much of what happened during that period as “cultural genocide”. One of their 94 calls to action in their final report was to create a federal statutory day of commemoration.
30th September is now a day for national reflection, to reflect on what happened, but also the legacy of those events and their impact on people, their families and communities today which includes placing Indigenous needs as high up as non-Indigenous ones, factoring in Indigenous perspectives in decision-making, and acknowledging their right to self-determination. A small step forward in an otherwise very dark period of Canada’s history.
From Tuesday 5th October for four weeks, there will be a free weekly newsletter all about the future of travel writing, why decolonising and modernising it is important, plus tips, advice and insights from four top editors, writers and broadcasters.
And if you enjoyed this edition of Unpacking Media Bias, you can also support us at Ko-fi.com...
“If communities don’t have sovereignty or the self-determination to shape how they want their cultures to be consumed or communicated, their economies to be governed and their environments to be treated, then tourism and travel culture are only a continuation of imperialist practices."