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Tuesday
Aug112009

Travel Writers Confess Disdain for New Travel Channel Series - 198

The recent debut of “Confessions of a Travel Writer” on the Travel Channel seems to have caused a stir among travel writers on the web.

And judging by the comments on various posts by travel publications like National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog, the viewers weren’t fond of the new series either.

The popular online travel magazine WorldHum (owned by the Travel Channel) reported on the fierce web-wide reaction earlier today and also recapped the “colorful” comments on their own site in response to an interview with the show’s host.

The show depicted five travel writers on a press trip in Chile. But voice over commentary by the show’s host seems to have been a sticking point for most.

Gadling.com’s Mike Barish described the show as partly victim to its reality show genre, but added, “However, Runnette’s personal agenda was clearly to showcase how amazing he thinks he is. He did so at the expense of not only the other journalists featured in the episode, but to the detriment of the entire travel writing industry.”

“Confessions of a Travel Writer” host Charles Runnette was also described as “annoying and snarky” by some like Elizabeth R. Rose on About.com, and his commentary dubbed “whining wisdom” by others like Shannon Hurst Lane in a flurry of rebuttal toward the show’s premise.

Ian Mackenzie of Brave New Traveler calls the show a blunder, saying: “Earlier this year, I wrote about the vapid show on Travel Channel ‘Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches’. Most of you readers agreed with my argument, that we should expect better from the Travel Channel. Unfortunately, they’ve now given us ‘Confessions Of A Travel Writer’.”

Who knows if the pilot will come back as a true series. But it seems all the negative response has at least gained Charles Runnette some notoriety as a travel writer. Though he had written for the New York Times (which ironically doesn’t allow stories from reporters who accept free press trips), many in the industry had never heard of him before the show. Yet it must be a pretty excruciating 15-minutes of fame.

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Jessica Jaybe is a Galavanting Travel News & Reviews correspondent and avid traveler. The world is her oyster, and writing her passion.

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