A first draft of the itinerary

Newspaper boat

I’m busy packing up my L.A. apartment in preparation for my upcoming adventure. So I haven’t had much time to spend on travel planning, but things are starting to take shape. Everything is subject to change, of course; here’s what it looks like now:

  • Europe: I will be there roughly from mid-January to early-April. It’s a work/play trip; I’ll be visiting family and friends in addition to my reporting. I plan to spend most of February in the U.K. Otherwise I’ll hang out on the continent, checking in on individuals and organizations doing innovative work that’s relevant to the practice of online journalism. I’ll be blogging the results here (and possibly on other websites, though everything will be linked here).
  • South Africa: I’m hoping to tack a couple of weeks there onto my time in Europe. I’m interested in looking at how the digital revolution is unfolding in societies with large unwired populations. Are cheap and ubiquitous mobile phones taking the place of PCs as news delivery platforms?
  • U.S.*: In late April and early May I’ll do a little reporting back in this country. I plan to focus on trends in database apps and information visualization for news. (*Update: I overlooked Canada here — an unintended slight as I do hope to make it to Vancouver at least.)
  • Latin America: In May I will try and get to Mexico and/or South America for a couple weeks. This is still pretty iffy.
  • Japan: I plan to head to Japan in June or July. I promised my teenage brother, a budding Japanophile, that I’d take him so he can practice the Japanese he’s been learning (and, hopefully, be my interpreter). I’ll use the opportunity to investigate this apparent paradox: How is it that one of the world’s most wired (and wireless) societies is home to seven of the 10 largest newspapers on the planet?

Why aren’t Australia/China/India/the Mideast/etc. on the list? There are lots of great stories in each of those places, I’m sure, but I have to draw the line somewhere. As it is, I have no idea if I’ll actually get to all the places I’m shooting for. Either way, by August I will be thoroughly tired of traveling and writing, and I’ll probably go off the grid for a while. :-)

I’ll post more details as I figure them out. If you have suggestions for places to visit or people to contact — or you can hook me up with a tour guide or a place to stay in one of the stops on my itinerary — holler.

Update 2009.01.24: An up-to-date itinerary can be found here.

Photo by marcelgermain via Flickr.