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What does a Traveling Journalist do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A traveling journalist constantly works in different locales to report either breaking news events or human interest stories or both. Many traveling journalists specialize in the field of travel and write pieces about their experiences with different accommodations or attractions. They may travel regionally, nationally and/or internationally to get unique information and convey it in his or her own personal style. Of course, the house style of the publication the article will appear in must be used in the written piece.

Rather than make out of town trips occasionally for work purposes as some journalists do, the traveling type is on the go much of the time. Once a traveling journalist becomes inspired by a topic and angle for a story, he or she must pitch the idea to an editor. If the editor approves, he or she is likely to first conduct research. Whereas other journalists may do a lot of phone interviews, a traveling journalist is more likely to do more face-to-face ones.

Since he or she travels constantly in search of stories to match the interests of readers of a certain publication rather than reporting on the same "beat" or area, a traveling journalist often seeks out people as an inspiration source. From speaking with people in interesting places in the world, traveling journalists then find it simple to come up with a good story idea and angle. Having the ability to do this well is essential for these types of journalists.

Depending on the publications traveling journalists write for, they may stay only in luxury hotels or rustic campgrounds, or a variety of accommodations. These types of journalists may spend some non-work hours enjoying tourist attractions or beaches, but typically most of what they experience on their trips becomes a part of the articles they write. A travel journalist plans his or her own schedule for interviewing and writing articles, guidebooks or newspaper pieces, but must still meet the deadlines of each publication.

If a traveling journalist specializes in food writing, he or she will choose restaurants to eat at as well as usually interview the owners and staff. These food journalists aren't necessarily reviewers, per se, but are more likely to find an interesting aspect of the restaurant's history to write about as well as the unique dishes found there. In addition to writing about certain establishments, the journalists may also write one or more articles concentrated on a certain region. Traveling journalists may also take photographs to accompany their stories.

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Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Aug 30, 2014

@Melonlity -- Print may be cutting down on everything, but television stations are still sending traveling reporters all over the place. There are certain travel-centric magazines that are also keeping traveling reporters on the payroll because their publications wouldn't be worth much without a bunch of reporting from exotic parts of the world.

By Melonlity — On Aug 29, 2014

@Terrificli -- Newspapers are cutting a lot of those traveling vacationer positions, but there are still a lot of reporters out there paid to chase stories around the country or world. Still, budgets are tight and hefty travel accounts aren't quite up to the level they once were.

One can't help but wonder if newspapers will ever be able to start rolling in enough profit to get more traveling reporters on their payrolls.

By Terrificli — On Aug 28, 2014

Those journalists who write about vacations and travel are some of the luckiest people on the planet. Imagine getting paid to essentially be on vacation all the time. That is a very sweet gig, but you have to wonder how many newspapers are keeping those expensive employees on their payrolls.

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