Tag Archives: journalism

Blackwells Book shop presents some good talks.

Blackwells in Oxford are offering some interesting talks on various subjects – and which are all free!

I went to one last week about travel writing or, to be precise, how to be a travel writer .  The speaker was promoting his book which was a howto on that very subject: how to write about travel and, possibly, make some money while you’re at it.  All good practical stuff  on how to write a travel blog, how to write a newspaper travel feature, how to write a travel book. It was inevitable that, having written a book about women travellers and explorers ( The Blessings of a Good Thick Skirt) I should be disappointed though not surprised to find female travel writers, including Ireland’s own, Dervla Murphy, were rarely mentioned in the discourse and this in Oxford, Gertrude Bell’s own university town. Sara Wheeler appeared briefly in a photo shown at the beginning of the talk  but  that was it.  What we did hear were the entertaining anecdotes and quotes about Redmond O Hanlon, Paul Theroux, Colin Thubron, Rory MacClean and many more – all of them excellent travel writers.

But where oh where were the dictinctive  female voices of travel writers like Ella Maillart, Alexandra David Neel, Christina Dodwell, Ann Davison, Mary Kingsley,  Hester Stanhope and the sublime Jane Digby.

When my book Blessings  of a Good Thick Skirt was published in 1986, it filled a gap for there was hardly anything then published neither about women travellers and explorers nor by them.  Now, 33 years on, the ratio of male to female  travel writers is pretty much the same as it was then.

Perhaps this is a sign of changing times with fewer women setting off on a quest in their mid years. If this is so then that is as it is. Meanwhile, we can feast on a treasure trove of travel writing  from those who have gone before and who are still travelling, giving us travel writing which will energise and inspire. Pick up that book and get going.

 

The Travel Writer’s Way by  Jonathan Lorie is published  by Bradt.

 

 

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Filed under Books, daydreaming, journalist, Life, Syria, Travel, Uncategorized, walking

Thought you could do without newspapers?

Thought you could do without newspapers? 26/04/2012

If you ever felt that newspapers were redundant, check out brilliant expose of the Murdoch way of doing things, by Harry Evans, in today’s Guardian.
Still not sure, then remember:

1) The Sunday Times Insight team when Harry Evans was ed. Think the Thalidomide investigation.

2) The Guardian’s pursuit of Jonathan Aitken who, when challenged over wrong-doing, responded: “ If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight.” So was the Guardian and guess who ended up in prison?

3) The News of the World (yes, that paper) which exposed match fixing in test cricket.

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