On the Road with Serious Intent: A Journalistic Approach to Travel Writing (March 2013)

Course Overview

On the Road with Serious Intent: A Journalistic Approach to Travel Writing (March 2013)
Online Group Seminar
Time Estimate:
The content of this course unfolds over several weeks, mostly on your own schedule. Several live discussions will allow you to interact with the instructor and other students. Other work is done independently. The minimum time commitment each week is four to five hours.

John Greenman's book, Introduction to Travel Journalism: On the Road with Serious Intent is included in the course tuition.

About Online Group Seminars

In an online group seminar, you will gather with other participants in a virtual space, logging in from anywhere, day or night, over the course of several weeks. A faculty member guides the group through new material, moderates discussions and provides individual feedback.

This archived Online Group Seminar was orginally available on:
March 29 to April 26, 2013

Walking the wallaby-worn paths through Tasmania, along the white sand beaches of Caracas or through the cobblestone streets of Vienna, you realize that your travels have stories to tell. Stories about discovery, exploration and bliss — but also stories about poverty, corruption and mismanagement.

As soon as you get the itch to write about your travels, you will be faced with questions. Who will read my story? How will I pay for my expenses and still pay my bills? How do I know if my writing is objective and journalistic? How do I do justice to the stories of the people I encounter? Among all the experiences, people and ideas I encounter when I travel, how will I choose which stories to tell?

This course will help you develop the skills to produce travel writing that is independent, ethical and substantial. During the four weeks of this course, you will investigate travel journalism in your local market, and you will write — and publish — a travel story, all without having to travel.

View the syllabus

Each participant in the course will get a copy of John Greenman's book, "Introduction to Travel Journalism: On the Road with Serious Intent".

What Will I Learn:
  • How to identify and create four types of travel stories: news, service and advice, destination, journey
  • The essential skills and knowledge of the travel journalist: story types, sourcing, elements, structure, drafting and revision
  • Where to find funding that does not present conflicts of interest
  • How to get started if you are considering an entrepreneurial travel journalism venture
  • Tips for turning a idea you have about your local market into a travel story
Who should take this course:

Professional journalists who want to explore travel writing as an adjunct to their regular assignments; writers, bloggers, journalism students and anyone who wants to find and tell unexpected stories.

Course Instructor:

John F. Greenman

John F. Greenman, 59, is the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Greenman retired in 2004 from Knight Ridder where he was a corporate officer, newspaper publisher and editor. At Georgia, Greenman teaches undergraduate journalism courses and oversees the McGill program and its annual symposium.

Technical Requirements:

No special software is needed. However, we strongly recommend that you have a high-speed or broadband Internet connection. This course requires Flash Player 8 or higher. (Get the latest version of Flash here.) For Mac users, we recommend accessing this course with Firefox or Safari 2.x or higher.