You know The Telegraph: it’s that newspaper that had to issue a formal apology to First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. The newspaper that can never seem to spend enough on certain politicians, which shouldn’t come as much of surprise when you consider its owners are a couple of billionaire British bruhs who live on a rock and keep twin fire-breathing dragons as pets.
Good thing they’re surrounded by all that water!
Of course, journalistic standards have fallen precipitously in recent years everywhere, case in the point the screechy hyper-lefty New York Times, but just because we’re all drowning in an ocean of digital sludge is no reason to blithely accept every last bit of it.
But this isn’t about politics, because of course travel is never political. It’s only about Instagrammability, bragging to your neighbors about your latest “inspired” but (fess up) probably scripted experience and paying $9 for a bottle of water at some stupid airport.
This is about, uh, this:
We believe in freedom of expression at Tripquake, but we don’t thrill to travel reportage that so egregiously misses the mark. We have no particular quarrel with the article’s author Rachel Howard, either—lots of putative travel writers have an uneasy relationship with honest and accurate reporting, letting purple prose get in the way (see Howard’s overblown piece in some other pub on Sifnos, a nice enough island but really no more than…nice) and lack the gumption to tell their editors that the Internet can actually be more than just another reductive listicle.
Also: We don’t believe that that the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens or the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens are bad hotels. But neither are they romantic hotels. Not sure if Rachel Howard has actually been to either, but we have (and we don’t take comps, either) and therefore we know. In fact, none of the hotels included on the Telegraph’s list are “romantic getaway” material, with the possible exception of the NEW Hotel because, well, it’s the NEW.
Why we should we, or more importantly you, even care what the fusty Telegraph says? For the same reason why we sort of care about what this different and far more questionable digital heap says: because of prominence. Companies like Forbes which peddle clickbait disguised as journalism (I worked there, I know), and probably more serious outfits like the Telegraph, pay people (at least, we think they’re people; we’ve met some so we’re not really sure) to make sure that their fruity content, regardless of how inferior it is, slithers to the top of Google search results like French CEOs to their mistresses. But does being on top make you legitimate? I don’t know, but I suppose you could ask (the ghost of) Hitler if being #1 makes you legitimate. So yeah, no—it does not.
Which is why, whether in the political or the lifestyle space, when you see subpar or certifiably crappy content you have a right and duty to push back against it. Particularly if you are a true champion of truth in travel, and don’t just pay the adage lip service. As so many do.
By the way, you want to have an interlude at a hotel in Athens, optionally (insert heart emoji here!) romantic? Fine! Go to town.
Featured image: Athens BC hotel rooftop.