More and more travel sites are cropping up on the Web. So why are newspaper Web sites ignoring their travel coverage?
This column appeared in the July-August 1997 issue of The American Journalism Review.
By J.D. Lasica
As online news matures, we’re beginning to see Web publications evolve into true news channels rather than warmed-over digital versions of their pulp parents.
One of the biggest trends in cyberspace during the past six months has been the rise of Web sites that take advantage of readers’ booming interest in travel news. But you’d never know it by visiting the travel sections of almost any online newspaper.
At the annual meeting of the Society of American Travel Writers editors council in the Bahamas in April, it became clear that when it comes to newspaper Web sites, the Travel section is just an afterthought — if it’s given any thought at all. Consider:
• Most papers refuse to put their travel section contents online.
• For those that do, it’s often impossible to find the travel section. Even at such estimable sites as the San Jose Mercury News’ and the Seattle Times’, users can spend hours on any given Sunday without being able to locate any travel news.