The Rise of Independent Travel Magazines

Subject matter can be almost self-consciously esoteric. The latest issue of Ernest includes a piece by Queen guitarist Brian May on diableries (19th-century stereoscopic photographs of clay model demons). Cereal has 10 pages on Anglepoise lamps; Avaunt has a feature headlined “Politics of map projections”.

The new magazines also move away from the traditional “colonial” model of travel journalism, where a writer is sent overseas to experience a trip as a holiday-maker would, then report back. Instead, many of the new titles commission pieces from writers with existing connections to a destination (a model that happily saves on travel costs, too). Boat magazine, an early independent which first published in 2010, produces an entire issue focused on a single destination, and moves its editorial team there for several weeks to seek out stories. Many of the new editors are scathing about conventional titles’ focus on hotels and restaurants, and their extensive use of lists. The independents see themselves as being about places, rather than holidays.

Tom Robbins writing in the Financial Times (registration required) about the new breed of print travel magazines that have emerged as commercial travel magazines suffer diminishing circulation.

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