Times change – and so does the marketplace for travel journalism.
With that in mind, the BATW Board on July 21, 2018 approved updates that expand and clarify qualification opportunities for new memberships and requalification for existing members. Credentials required for corporate membership were not changed.
Beginning in 2019, the number and size of qualifying publications has been expanded to include new outlets such as social media; and to acknowledge the tighter article length now so often required by publications. Emphasis is placed on quality and proof of commitment to the craft.
The changes are designed to make it more reasonable for members to prove professionalism both in the process of joining BATW, and then when requalifying every two years.
To prepare for the coming changes, the Board voted at its February 2018 Retreat to continue all members in their current status until the end of this year.
This was both to allow time to draft and implement the new professional qualification requirements and to give all members time to meet the requalification criteria. The Board must (by State Charter) review and enforce professional membership qualification standards.
Here’s the approved document.
—Judith Horstman, BATW President, July 21, 2018
Qualifications for Membership in BATW
As approved July 21, 2018
The Bay Area Travel Writers association is an organization of professional travel journalists. Membership requires publication. However, the outlets and options for publishing have changed since the first parameters were last updated in 2014.
The Board reviewed the qualifications for membership and continuing membership and made modifications reflective of changes in media and markets. The following was approved by the BATW Board at its July 21 meeting:
During the 12 months immediately preceding application or requalification, applicants for General membership must have achieved publication under one of the following minimum criteria (or an equivalent combination):
Printed Consumer or Trade Publication: Two feature travel articles (at least 800 words each) or five short travel articles (minimum 300 words each) or 10 travel photographs. Also acceptable is a combination of articles and photographs that, in the opinion of the BATW Board, meet the requirements.
Printed Travel Books: One published travel book or published travel book revision (minimum 15,000 words).
EBooks: One travel eBook (minimum 15,000 words) published as print-on-demand or in digital format viewable on an electronic reading device.
Travel Apps: A published travel app (minimum 200 entries).
Travel Broadcast: Host or correspondent with a minimum of 120 minutes on-air time.
Web Articles: A minimum of two feature travel articles (at least 800 words each or five short travel articles [minimum 300 words each] or 20 travel photographs). Also acceptable is a combination of articles and photographs that, in the opinion of the BATW Board, meet the requirements. The work must be editorial in nature.
Self-Published (Applicant Owned) Travel Websites or Blogs: Will be considered if they are editorial in nature, devoted to travel publication and contain informative and independent editorial content that is clearly separate from advertising and advertorials. For the previous 12 months, should contain a minimum of two feature travel articles (at least 800 words each) or five short travel articles (minimum 300 words each) or 10 travel photographs. Also acceptable is a combination of articles and photographs that, in the opinion of the BATW Board, meet the requirements.
Travel Photography: As noted above, 10 photos published in at least two different editions of any of the above media, or in one travel book. A travel-themed exhibition in a professional art gallery may qualify as one publication.
Travel Videos: New category. Five travel videos with a minimum duration of 30 seconds published on YouTube or a similarly accredited medium.
Other Media Forums: The BATW Board recognizes that it is not always easy or sensible to quantify earnest, innovative and quality efforts in travel publication. For that reason, the Board is willing to consider works in other existing media and forums, including teaching, public presentations and exhibitions, as well as in other formats that may develop In the future.
Social Media: New category. Because of the rise of social media in communications, BATW recognizes the value of members’ publication on various social media platforms, and encourages and welcomes the use of these platforms. Activity on same can be counted toward qualification if it is substantial, editorial and in conjunction with publication in other forms of media as delineated above.
Submission of Materials for Qualification/Requalification
When filling out your application form, we ask that you:
- Provide, for each publication or broadcast listed to fulfill the membership requirements, the title/date the material appeared, the nature of the publication, approximate number of words in the article, and the editor’s name and contact information.
- Agree to abide by BATW Professional Conduct Guidelines.