PhD Research

PhD Research

Bryan's Dissertation at the Sorbonne

It's done. I am a doctor! I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis on December 14th with "very honorable" mentions, the second highest possible. I'll take it!

So what was the research all about? Read on:

Title: Plurality and Extensions in Travel Journalism: New Actors, New Expectations, New Methods

Project: My dissertation at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris 3) is an extension of my masters degree work conducted at the same school. Basically, I'm looking at travel journalism in its various forms and how the producers of travel information operate. What is the difference between an old-school journalist, a blogger, or someone who contributes frequently to TripAdvisor? Do they share practices? Are they all "journalists" somehow?

At the same time, I'm looking at real people, the travelers, who are consuming the information provided by these various actors. What do they get from it? Does a media-paid journalist offer something that an independent blogger might not? Do people trust TripAdvisor, and if so how? So many questions...

Methods: For my dissertation, I have intereviewd a dozen or so journalists, an equal number of bloggers, and ten TripAdvisor contributors. All are English-speakers who write about Paris. At the same time, I have assembled a questionnaire to see what the public things. Coupled with interviews with 15 tourists in Paris, these results will help shed light on what tourists are actually looking for in travel information. While all interviews have been conducted with English speakers, the final thesis has been written in French.

Current Publications

I contributed a chapter on travel blogs in Paris to a compilation entitled Travel Journalism: Exploring Production, Impact, and Culture. The book, edited by Folker Hanusch and Elfriede Fursich, was published fall 2014 by Palgrave.

My article "Travel journalism 2.0. Tourists’ motivations, expectations, and practices online,"
can be found in the online review Sur le Journalisme.

Future Projects

Currently teaching courses on journalism at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, I hope to continue teaching somewhere in Europe now that I have earned my Ph.D. I would also like to elaborate this project on travel journalism to produce a book (maybe) or even a sort of manual on traveling in a digital age and what to think about when researching a trip. Look for more academic publications soon...

Academic CV


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