Dear Valued BATW Members:
The Board has been making significant progress in the wake of BATW’s recent bylaws revision. As professionals, we’ve worked hard to develop fair but significant criteria for membership that establish a standard of credibility that will be easily recognized by CVBs, PR associates, media outlets, event hosts and our peers. At the same time, our intent has been to nurture new talent and preserve the membership of individuals who, for one reason or another, are not as actively published as they once were. By today’s new criteria, once you qualify as a General Member, you shall always be so recognized (as long as you pay your dues, of course). This eases the burden for everyone, since you will no longer have to go through the time-consuming process of updating your profile at renewal time, nor will the membership committee have to review your submissions.
However, we must also maintain a high standard of professionalism and recognize those BATW members who are the most productive. Toward that end, and to aid Associate Members, hosts, travel media and press trip sponsors, we will offer a credential program for those General Members who demonstrate that they continue to meet the original membership criteria. This will not exclude non-credentialed members from sponsored events or press trips unless that is a criterion of our sponsors. While Credentialed members will be identified in the directory, Associates will see everyone’s experience as before, and it will be up to them to decide the importance of current versus past work. It is to your advantage, therefore, to maintain your profile to reflect your best work, current or not, even if you do not intend to pursue a credential. This system meets the needs of everyone, both General and Associate members alike.
Since the credentialing requirements are the same as that for new membership, all new members will be credentialed. All credentials will expire in roughly two years (the timing dependent upon when qualified), requiring you to reapply at that time. Meanwhile, all members will receive a paper membership card, as we used to issue, to which you can affix a photo and laminate. The plastic Press Pass once used will be replaced with a newly designed card for credentialed members to purchase for $10 (our cost), if they so desire. This new card will replace your existing, expired Press Pass.
1. As a current member of BATW, do I have to meet the new criteria for membership?
No. As long as you pay your annual dues, you remain a valued General member of BATW.
2. What are the benefits to General membership?
The benefits have not changed. General members have a detailed directory presence; an online forum where members communicate and where press trips, conferences, and member and industry news are announced; a Facebook page for showcasing members’ work; voting rights and invitations to all monthly meetings. (Press trip invitations are at the discretion of the host.) An added benefit is that all General members will receive a BATW membership card.
3. How do I get the General membership card?
Membership cards will be available at the monthly meetings. You must be a member in good standing to receive a membership card.
4. What are the benefits of being a Credentialed General member of BATW?
Associate members will see that you are a currently productive member of the press. Credentialed General members may have a better chance of receiving invitations to limited-attendance press trips, hosted lunches or cocktail meetings offered to BATW.
5. I meet the criteria for credentialing. How do I become recognized as “Credentialed”?
First, update your profile in batw.org. You must meet BATW’s publication requirements during the previous 12-month period. Then, open a Word document and cut and paste your profile into it. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Wait for review process (up to 8 weeks). If approved, you’ll receive a formal credential letter with further instructions.
6. If I qualify for credentialing, do I have to order a Press Card?
No. You will automatically be in the BATW database as a Credentialed General member, regardless of whether you purchase the $10 Press Card.
7. If I qualify for credentialing and want to order a Press Card, how do I proceed?
The congratulations letter will contain instructions for ordering a Press Pass.
8. I already have a BATW Press Card, although it expired in 2012. Is it still good?
No. Since the card has expired and we are no longer handing out stickers, this Press Pass is invalid.
PUBLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR BATW MEMBERSHIP AND CREDENTIALING:
Listed below are the basic categories for qualification as a General member of BATW. Recognizing the changing landscape of the media marketplace, BATW allows for publication in one or a combination of categories to qualify.
* Printed Consumer or Trade Publications: A minimum of 2,000 published words in any combination of short travel articles and/or longer travel features.
* Printed Travel Books: One published travel book or published travel book revision with a minimum of 25,000 words written by the applicant.
* Ebooks: One travel book with a minimum 25,000 words published as print-on-demand or digital form for viewing on an electronic reading device.
* Travel Apps: A published travel app with a minimum of 250 entries.
* Travel Broadcast: Host or correspondent on a minimum of 180 minutes of on-air time.
* Web articles: A minimum of 2,000 published words in any combination of short travel articles and/or longer travel features. In addition:
1. The published work must be editorial in nature.
2. The website must maintain a minimum 5,000 absolute unique visitors per month (AUVs). Unique visitors are defined as the total traffic to a website, counting each visitor only once within a monthly timeframe.
* Self-Published Travel Websites: An applicant-owned travel website or blog will be considered if it:
1. Consistently averages a minimum of 3,000 absolute unique visitors per month (AUVs) over one year.
2. Contributes to the applicant’s income, either directly or indirectly.
3. Contains informative and independent editorial content that is clearly separate from advertising and advertorials.
* Travel Photography: Twelve photos published in at least four different editions of any of the above media, or in one travel book. A travel-themed exhibition in a full time art gallery may qualify as one publication.
* Note: In addition to the above criteria, 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 any format that develops in the future.
* The Board also adopted resolutions to implement the new category of Affiliate, established in the Bylaws amendments. One resolution created an “Honorary” category open by invitation to distinguished members of our profession. The other established a “Provisional” category that allows new or aspiring travel journalists to affiliate with BATW while striving to qualify for membership.
—Ginny Prior, BATW President