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Browsing by Author "Bäckgren, Noona"

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  • Bäckgren, Noona (2017)
    In my MA thesis I focus on studying the development of the Finnish Mondo travel magazine in order to analyse how the implied reader of Mondo has changed from the magazine’s early years to recent years, and how these changes relate to broader questions on the commercialization of journalism and the changing economic environment of the media. I also examine what kind of ideological implications concerning travel journalism’s societal role may have resulted from these changes. Mondo is examined as a case study, but the extensive theoretical part largely focuses on broader issues related to travel journalism and with it, tourism. My approach is essentially sociological, reaching beyond content analysis, and for this reason the method used for analysis is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The utmost objective of CDA is to unravel the underlying agenda left implicit in the discourse which, in my study, takes the form of Mondo’s content. CDA is strongly connected to the concepts of ideology and power, and in this study I connect Mondo’s articles to consumerist ideology and especially to Boltanski and Chiapello’s (2005) concept of (new) spirit of capitalism. My analysis includes sections that take into consideration the visual as well as textual elements, and so the method is partly multimodal CDA. The sample includes 24 Mondo magazines in total, 12 from years 2002–2004 and 12 from years 2012–2017. Three different sections of the magazines are analysed: editorials, features and covers. I also utilise interviews conducted with former and present Mondo contributors. My analysis shows that Mondo has changed significantly from its early years to the present moment. The change shows visually, linguistically, in the selection of destinations and in the style and aims of the editorials and features. It could be argued that Mondo has evolved from a politically and environmentally aware, student run niche travel magazine to a mainstream travel magazine with service focus. This change has been driven at least partly by commercial factors. In new Mondo magazines, travelling seems to be perceived as a source of individual, hedonistic pleasure and consumerist self-fulfillment. In my thesis I maintain that travel journalism could and should broaden its focus from holiday tips and to be more interdisciplinary. I argue that there is no shortage of ideas: the main challenge comes from breaking the present formula of a travel article and being willing to see travel journalism as a form of journalism that can be critical and timely just like any other.