Founder / Editor


Associate Editor


Assistant Editor











A Risky Method of Time Travel: Undated, But Not Updated, TV Travel Series
March 1, 2012  | By Tom Brinkmoeller  | 68 comments

Would you suspect something was wrong if you turned on the PBS Newshour one evening and, instead of getting an intelligent dose of the day's news by the program's current on-air team, you saw Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer on the screen, talking about Iraq's recent invasion of Kuwait?

Or if you opened your favorite travel magazine and saw a lead story about the imminent opening of Walt Disney World in Florida?

We go to archives and libraries for that kind of history. We go to journalists for current information.

So it's sort of strange that public television continues to show older episodes by one of today's best journalist-travel writers, Rick Steves, containing observations about a country's social, financial, political and other aspects. Because Steves' programs report, rather than simply photograph, they are like his best-selling guidebooks: When produced, they give real and armchair travelers an excellent guide to what to expect, what to see and where to go in a country.

Problem is, travel guidebooks are regularly updated. Travel TV shows are not...


There are some Steves TV episodes on the air that stretch back to the '90s. And in a world severely affected by terrorism and economic recession, what was true and helpful, even in the earlier parts of this century, aren't necessarily even close to accurate now.

So if, for example, you hear Steves say that currently hard-luck Ireland is a booming Celtic Tiger, or almost-destitute Greece is a jewel in the EU crown, you may or may not know the information is dated and wrong.

And before you label this as a tempest in a teapot, ask about the lesser-known inaccuracies. Can you still stow your luggage in a train-station locker while you roam the town, suitcase-free? Can you still assume Sicily still is growing and modernizing because the richer Italian regions to the north are shoveling funds its way?

It's natural to suspect the accuracy of almost all information, when some that's knowingly wrong swims in the same pool.

Attempts to ask Steves about whether this was an issue for him were unsuccessful.

"Thanks for your interest in our work. I appreciate your comments. But we are so over-committed right now that we'll have to give your interview a pass," he wrote in a recent email.

Requests for insight from public-television executives were turned down. Others in the business (who spoke on condition they wouldn't be named) acknowledged the possible conflict, but pointed out it would be cost-prohibitive to add video advisories to the start and/or end of each program, noting that information in the program may be dated. And pulling the popular episodes isn't being considered.


The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), of which Steves' company is a member, was queried about the dilemma of keeping information accurate in a financially tenuous economy. Its president, Betsa Marsh, wrote the following in response:

"The reality of travel content -- web, print or broadcast -- is that its strongest influence, as with all journalism, is the current moment. We know any travel and tourism feature may have a short shelf life and may suddenly be overtaken by events.

"It's also important to know SATW members -- 1,200 travel writers, photographers and public relations professionals -- chiefly portray the history, culture, attractions, and people of global sites. SATW was founded in 1955, and as an association we have our own ever-evolving history, just like the sites, monuments, and travel industry our members cover worldwide. Our members create mobile apps, websites, blogs, and use social media. In all these media, our members work hard to give current and timeless value to the travel information.

"As we travel the world, we're also aware events may alter the pieces we're working on, so as travel professionals we strive to anticipate industry and consumer trends. Like all memorable journalism, good travel writing captures the moment while withstanding the vagaries of time and technological change."

Public TV executives contacted for this story pointed out Steves' author blogs, newspaper columns and other materials that convey current information, unlike some of the television programs. Two of them separately advised to use the television shows as a general knowledge base, but check the information against the more-current guidebooks, newsletters and other more malleable materials.

In other words, if you enjoy the pictures but don't allow the words to take root in your mind, there's really not an issue. That does not seem to be the type of advisory most journalists would want attached to their work. Yet, unwieldy as that practice might be, it does alleviate the worry factor.

So long, that is, as you don't make the TV your last stop before embarking.

Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 Name (required)
 Email (required) (will not be published)
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 Page: 1 of 4  | Go to page: 
While the quinceañera celebration is steeped in tradition, it also allows for personalization and creativity to reflect the unique personality and preferences of the guest of honor. From the choice of venue and décor to the selection of music and menu, every aspect of the celebration can be tailored to suit the quinceañera's individual tastes and style. This allows each quinceañera to create a one-of-a-kind celebration that truly reflects who she is and what she values most.
Apr 12, 2024   |  Reply
Founded on the principles of personalized service, cultural immersion, and sustainable tourism, Gotourslanka has evolved into a dynamic force in the travel industry, catering to the diverse needs and desires of discerning travelers from across the globe.
Mar 28, 2024   |  Reply
The integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) has further expanded the capabilities of mobile devices. AI-powered virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa have become indispensable tools for voice-activated commands, task automation, and personalized recommendations, enhancing user convenience and productivity. Similarly, AR and VR technologies have unlocked immersive experiences, revolutionizing gaming, entertainment, education, and even retail experiences through interactive simulations and virtual environments.
Mar 6, 2024   |  Reply
The journey to the presidency is fraught with challenges, requiring candidates to weather controversies, overcome setbacks, and adapt to shifting political currents. Scandals, missteps, and negative media coverage can derail even the most promising campaigns, forcing candidates to recalibrate their strategies and regain lost ground. Moreover, the pressures of the campaign trail exact a toll on candidates' physical and mental well-being, testing their resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
Mar 1, 2024   |  Reply
keta (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) Information Foreigners wishing to enter Korea without a visa must obtain K-ETA permission before boarding an aircraft or ship.https://etaportal.net
Feb 20, 2024   |  Reply
At its core, travel is a celebration of freedom. It is a liberation from the confines of routine, a temporary escape from the responsibilities that tether us to the mundane. The open road becomes a canvas on which we paint our dreams, aspirations, and desires. In the vast expanse of the world, we find solace in the freedom to choose our path, redefine our priorities, and rediscover our passions. It is a journey that unfolds not only in physical miles but also in the distances traveled within our hearts and minds.
Jan 23, 2024   |  Reply
While travel often conjures images of far-flung destinations, it is not solely about crossing international borders. Sometimes, the most profound journeys unfold within the confines of one's own country. Exploring the diverse landscapes, historical landmarks, and hidden gems that lie close to home can be equally enriching. It fosters an appreciation for the local intricacies that might go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Jan 22, 2024   |  Reply
Travel is a transformative journey that transcends the boundaries of the everyday, inviting individuals to explore the vast tapestry of the world and immerse themselves in the rich diversity of cultures, landscapes, and experiences. It is a symphony of exploration that resonates with the human spirit, offering a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and sensations that leave an indelible mark on the traveler's soul.
Jan 20, 2024   |  Reply
Travel also provides a respite from the frenetic pace of modern life, offering moments of introspection and reflection. Whether it's finding solace in the silence of a mountain retreat or contemplating the vastness of the ocean under a star-studded sky, travel becomes a catalyst for inner peace. The journey becomes a metaphorical pilgrimage, allowing us to disconnect from the noise of everyday life and reconnect with our inner selves.
Jan 20, 2024   |  Reply
Traversing through foreign landscapes, the senses awaken to the symphony of different scents, tastes, and sounds. The aroma of exotic spices wafting through bustling markets, the savory delights of regional cuisines tantalizing the taste buds, and the melodic cadence of unfamiliar languages echoing through vibrant streets all contribute to an immersive sensory experience. Travel, in its essence, is an invitation to savor the richness of the world, to indulge in the banquet of global flavors and cultures.
Jan 16, 2024   |  Reply
Travel is a transformative experience that extends far beyond the mere act of moving from one location to another. It embodies the essence of exploration, self-discovery, and the unraveling of the world's myriad wonders. Stepping into the unknown is akin to opening a door to a realm where the unfamiliar beckons, inviting one to embrace the richness of diverse cultures, landscapes, and perspectives. As the wheels of a plane touch down on foreign soil or the rhythmic chug of a train resonates through the tracks, a profound sense of anticipation unfurls, setting the stage for an immersive journey.
Jan 15, 2024   |  Reply
Exploring different corners of the world introduces us to the rich tapestry of human diversity. Each destination carries its own unique story, shaped by history, traditions, and the people who call it home. Whether it's the bustling streets of a metropolis or the serene tranquility of a remote village, every place has a tale to tell, waiting to be uncovered by the curious traveler.
Jan 15, 2024   |  Reply
The landscapes witnessed during travel are like pages turning in a captivating novel. From the majestic peaks of towering mountains to the serene beauty of pristine beaches, each vista tells a tale of the Earth's remarkable diversity. Exploring these natural wonders provides a sense of awe and humility, as one becomes a spectator to the grandeur of our planet. The whispering winds of foreign lands carry the echoes of untold stories, and the rustling leaves in distant forests become chapters of ancient sagas.
Jan 12, 2024   |  Reply
Fore more visitDisney Travel Experts
As individuals traverse the globe, they become ambassadors of their own cultures, breaking down stereotypes and fostering a sense of global citizenship. This exchange of ideas and perspectives contributes to the building of bridges between nations, fostering a more interconnected and understanding world.
Jan 12, 2024   |  Reply
Beyond the thermal springs, Azure Palm embraces a holistic approach to wellness. The resort's spa and wellness facilities provide a sanctuary for rejuvenation. From expert massages to yoga sessions amidst breathtaking scenery, guests embark on a journey towards holistic well-being.
Jan 4, 2024   |  Reply
Travel acts as a catalyst for understanding and empathy. It dismantles stereotypes and prejudices, bridging the gap between cultures and fostering a deeper appreciation for our global interconnectedness. Experiencing different ways of life fosters tolerance and respect, nurturing a more compassionate worldview.
Dec 27, 2023   |  Reply
Medical professionals might recommend various treatment options based on the severity and frequency of tonsil stone formation. These options can include simple at-home remedies like gargling with saltwater or more invasive procedures such as tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, in cases of chronic tonsil stone formation causing significant discomfort or recurrent infections.
Dec 6, 2023   |  Reply
Over the years, the evolution of wedding card designs has seen a remarkable shift. From traditional pieces of paper containing only necessary details, these cards now stand as expressive representations of the couple's personalities and the ambiance they intend for their celebration. The array of options, ranging from intricately detailed designs to minimalist styles, caters to the diverse tastes and preferences of couples today.
Nov 25, 2023   |  Reply
Beyond the physical journey, travel is also a voyage of the mind and soul. It offers a reprieve from the routine, a chance to escape the monotony of daily life, and an opportunity to reflect on one's aspirations and purpose. The solitude of a quiet beach or the majesty of a mountain vista can be conducive to introspection, providing a space for contemplation and self-discovery. In this way, travel becomes a form of therapy, a means of rejuvenation that allows individuals to return to their everyday lives with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity.
Nov 23, 2023   |  Reply
It is through travel that we become not just spectators but active participants in the grand narrative of human existence. Engaging with local communities, immersing oneself in their traditions, and savoring the flavors of authentic cuisines are integral aspects of the travel experience. The richness of travel lies in the connections formed, the stories shared, and the shared laughter that transcends language barriers.
Nov 14, 2023   |  Reply
 Page: 1 of 4  | Go to page: