Or looking at things from a local perspective.
As a travel writer, you tend to develop a global view of things. International news becomes important to you, and you tend to like knowing what is happening worldwide.
Nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it can be useful to switch perspective. Getting a view of the world from the place you’re visiting’s angle can give a really useful insight into that destination.
That’s why I like picking up a local newspaper while I’m away. There are few better things for giving a snapshot of what a place is like. First of all, there will be stories in there that simply aren’t covered by the global media, such as controversies over tourism developments, national financial problems and disease outbreaks amongst local wildlife.
These often make a good angle for a travel story – you’re essentially covering a news story that hasn’t really broken outside the country you’re in and explaining it to the rest of the world.
Attitudes and priorities
But picking up the newspaper is also good for getting a sense of that country’s attitudes and priorities. How many pages in are the big international stories? Do all the stories start with “a government spokesman has announced”? How professional or amateurish does the paper look? These are all excellent little clues about the destination.