I was handed over by Rahul the inaugural issue of the National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s India edition. I die-hard lover of travel and the idea of travel, I’ve been a regular reader of the Lonely Planet Magazine, which I simply adore.
I have a relationship with the LP Mag. There is this life cycle thjat I must describe to you. LP Mag arrives. Excitement. Open it. Flip through pages. Slowly, wonder gives way to depression- so many places to visit, one short life! The LP Mag lies around unopened by me for the next few days. Eventually, the melancholy wears off and the featured get a thorough reading, every picture gets a thorough look and the soul experiences an intense sense of travel-induced gratification, even though through the eyes of another.
I flipped the Nat Geo Traveler Mag cover to cover, read snippets here and there and was sorely disappointed. The writing isn’t fresh and frank the way I like it, and that’s why I love the LP Mag. Some contributions are superb, but most of the images are smaller than I like them and not nearly as breathtaking as one would expect from Nat Geo, the God of the Gods of nature photography. There is one fantastic poster insert though! Also, the practical info is not really there. You could argue we don’t need it given that we Google everything anyway, but when you get the info while you read the article, it makes the wheels in your head turn and you can analyze whether the trip is practical for you in terms of travel time, budgets, specific interests, etc. I am not aware of the brand identity iof the Nat Geo Traveler internationally, but I expected a little more focus on what I think are Nat Geo’s core strengths in terms of content-sustainability, biodoversity and a deep love for nature. I guess they put all that conscience stuff in the Nat Geo Mag itself! They did do a good job of profiling a wide variety of travel experiences though and refrained from talking about the typical family-type holiday experience. That makes sense,because it inspires a whole lot of us to try new things.
I already had the beginnings of the itch this week, and the Nat Geo Traveler just got me started on a full fledged travel deprivation attack! I think I will grow to love it in time. Meanwhile, I’m planning my next adventure tonight!
Changing media scenario: Can we be responsible for how we ingest and relay information? May 19, 2012
A few of us friends got together for dinner today, one of them an army officer. Talk inevitably, amid loads of nostalgic discussions about school times, turned to the attitude of the media about sensitive issues like corruption, defense, etc.
There were two opinions on the issue. One, that the media hypes issues, even at times perverts facts to sensationalize. The other, that the media, in whatever way, plays the role of a watchdog in society and the content should be looked at in that perspective, perhaps with a bit of salt but also with grains of truth hidden in there.
I have a few more thoughts to add. Media is the only source of information for a citizen on many issues relevant to his life. Therefore, to be irresponsible on the part of media and to carry content that actually misleads the public in unethical. On the other hand, people consume news and opinions guided by their interests, sensibilities and political leanings. Therefore, no matter how varied the opinions carried by media, it is not really drastically changing thought processes, only influencing them to some extent.
At this time, when both economics and politics are being tested in our country, a skeptical attitude to media is dangerous. With social networking sites and a variety of digital media rewriting the way we relay and ingest information, the question of who takes responsibility for providing well-researched, authentic information or expert opinions is a very different and much larger one. We consume the media, but we also are the media, so how about we each start with being responsible and honest ourselves about what we communicate?