I was in L.A. for a conference of travel editors, and at times it was a bummer. Not the editors--they were lovely. But most are editors of newspaper travel sections, and newspapers have been having a tough time lately (in part because so many people are getting their news from TV and the Internet). At the beginning of the conference, everyone got a chance to say how things were going, and many of them had grim reports: shrinking budgets, fewer pages, layoffs and buyouts... It was depressing, and not just because they're good people getting a raw deal.
When I got to see the kind of work the various editors were doing--everyone handed out samples--I was incredibly impressed. They deserve praise and support. I'm sure that the newspapers' management think that travel is somehow not as important as so-called hard news, and that's a shame. If you like your local newspaper's travel section, I hope you'll consider sending the travel editor--and the managing editors--a note saying so.