The Travel Writers’ Network is no longer issuing press passes to its members. The world has changed. For a variety of reasons, and far too often now, a press pass is not worth the plastic it’s printed on, and in some parts of the world it might endanger your safety. So, while existing press passes are still active until their expiration date, Travel Writers’ Network will not be issuing them any longer.
The Membership option that includes press passes is being removed from the website, leaving the basic membership as the only option. We will, however, be enhancing some of the other sections, such as Media Trips, to greatly increase the value of membership.
Press passes are losing effectiveness.
Reporters and journalists with valid press credentials are being inconsistently denied access with more frequency.
The journalism profession is becoming more and more risky.
Journalists are being jailed or killed in increasing numbers. Nearly three quarters of the journalists killed in 2016 were victims of “deliberate, targeted violence.” Reporters Without Borders
Although propaganda, or “disinformation” has been around forever, the recent flourishing of “fake news” to promote disruptions has everyone double-checking what they read. It’s hard to know who to trust.
First, social media allow anybody to communicate anything at any time to a vast audience. Donald Trump exemplified this during his 2016 election campaign when he tweeted things that were inflammatory or blatantly untrue, but which resonated well with his target audience.
Second, social media have become the main way we access news; so the incomes of established news media are plummeting. They desperately need more clicks on their content to bring in more advertising revenue. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Katharine Viner laments that ‘the new measure of value for too many news organisations is virality rather than truth or quality.’