Books Magazine

Getting to Timbuktu, Electronically

By Bookpassage @bookpassage
By Dick Jordan
Newspaper Stack One of the last, “old-tech” reading joys of mine is sitting at the breakfast table perusing the print versions of the Sunday editions of the local newspapers. As a travel writer, naturally I check out by the stories and the by-lines (who’s getting published this week?) in the Travel sections where I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: Shrinking space devoted to recounting journeys taken by others that might have inspired me to follow in their footsteps.
Will travel writing for the Sunday paper just wither away and die? Maybe so, maybe not.
About a year ago, at a preview of the annual Travel Writers & Photographers (“Food” is now included) Conference at the Book Passage bookstore, San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor, Spud Hilton, said that there were travel editors at only about fourteen U.S. newspapers. The number may now be down to about a dozen. (When he was on the faculty for the 2009 Conference, Spud had just been appointed Travel Editor for the Chronicle, and speculated that he might be the last to hold that position; he just wasn’t sure whether the job would last until he reached retirement age).
Timbuktu A few months ago I noticed that the Travel section of the Chronicle was down from six to four pages most Sundays. The same section in the Marin I-J (published by the Bay Area News Group) isn’t even a true “section” anymore; it’s usually only about a page or two.
But while print-editions of newspapers are doing a disappearing act, their electronic versions (and online publications in general) seem to be growing in both size and numbers. And while I’m still a mostly print-kinda-guy when it comes to the Sunday paper, a story in this week’s Bay Area News Group Travel section, illustrates why an e-version of a story can upstage the print version.
Timbuktu. Does it exist, or is it just a legendary place, like Shangri-La? It’s not mythical; it’s in the West African country of Mali. But for most of us, it’s like Shangri-La. We’re not going there, expect as armchair readers.
Jane Tyska’s story and photos in the Sunday print edition of the Marin I-J blew off the special fast-drying socks I take with me when I travel. And since going anywhere by boat intrigues me, her recommendation to get to Timbuktu on a pinasse (which she describes as a “long, narrow boat with a thatched roof you can sit upon”) prompted me to search for flights to Mopti from where the boat sails.
But the online version of the story was “way cooler” because it not only had thirty-five photos (as opposed to only four in the print version), but something unavailable in the “dead-tree” edition of the paper: Great videos of the Festival au Dessert and Jane’s boat trip with festival musicians, including JeConte from Sausalito.
So maybe travel writing in the Sunday paper isn’t dying after all. Maybe it’s just being reborn, in a much livelier way, online.
Lunch Swiss Style (Rosti with a Friend Egg Washed Down with Beer)(From time to time travel writer Dick Jordan posts book reviews under the “Armchair Travel” and “Book Review” sections of his blog, Tales Told From The Road. His last post to the Book(ed) Passage blog was “A Book Passage Student Success Story”, about San Francisco writer and performance artist Canyon Sam and her award-winning book, Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History.
When Dick isn’t traveling, you can usually find him hanging out with other members of Left Coast Writers at the Book Passage Corte Madera store on the evening of the first Monday of each month.)

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Delta Responds to Me About My Complaint

    An update for all of you: after I posted my story two days ago on Monday about having filed a complaint with Delta when my seat next to Steve on a recent... Read more

    5 hours, 31 minutes ago by   William Lindsey
    LGBTQ, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Mastering the Waves of Ketosis

    Mastering Waves Ketosis

    See the picture on the left below? The kids are wading into the ocean and aren't very far into the ocean. My son is getting smacked in the face by a wave. That... Read more

    5 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • DeBelle Gel Nail Lacquer - Sparkling Dust | Review

    DeBelle Nail Lacquer Sparkling Dust Review

    DeBelle Sparkling DustStay Connected I am a person who always loves to see her hands with nail paint on. My Love for Nail Paints will never fade away 💖 and... Read more

    6 hours, 29 minutes ago by   Niharika Verma
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • 7 Business Lessons You Can Learn From A 7-Year-Old

    Business Lessons Learn From 7-Year-Old

    Parents, it’s never too early to start nurturing entrepreneurial talents in your kids! As an active business advisor and angel investor, I’m convinced that we... Read more

    6 hours, 30 minutes ago by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • 3 Things You Need to Do to Protect Yourself from Ransomware

    Things Need Protect Yourself from Ransomware

    As we become more and more dependent on internet, the dangers coming from the cyber world are increasing too. You may rest in the belief that it won't happen... Read more

    7 hours, 30 minutes ago by   Jyoti Arora
    GADGETS, TECH
  • Time to Buy Your Tickets to the World’s Largest Low-Carb Conference

    Time Your Tickets World’s Largest Low-Carb Conference

    This will probably be the world's largest international low-carb conference ever. Low Carb USA 2017 will be held in San Diego on the 3rd to 6th of... Read more

    7 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • What I Wore: Adventures in Style [Sponsored]

    What Wore: Adventures Style [Sponsored]

    As Gwynnie Bee's featured influencer for the month, they asked me to take an item from their collection for a spin that I would not normally wear. I like to... Read more

    8 hours ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazines