By Elliot Adams
Scottish travel firm ‘Rabbie’s Trail Burners’ are looking to recruit around 40 new staff to lead tours and incomprehensibly BBC Scotland has chosen to run an article-shaped recruitment advert for the “world’s best job” in their business news section.
I understand that the line between reporting and promotion can be difficult to maintain in areas like business and travel journalism. But if the BBC is to maintain a high-degree of impartiality and freedom from market influence, there should always be at least some news-value to what is being covered that outweighs the benefit the firm involved gains through the publicity. For instance the beebs coverage of the tourism recovery of historic sites around Scotland, fishermen who have shifted to tourism during the summer months to conserve fish stocks, or even the launch of a new adventure travel guide for Scotland – even though this piece gives significant publicity to the new product being launched, the bulk of the story is about the rising market share held by Scottish adventure tourism in general.
In what way does the following article, “Scottish travel firm recruits for ‘world’s best job’“, have any news-value at all?
A travel firm is looking for “new talent” to act as guides on trips across Scotland and Ireland.
Described as the “best job in the world”, Rabbie’s Trail Burners said they were looking for up to 40 new “personalities” to lead tours.
Recruits will be given history and driving training but are expected to have a “natural passion for life”.
The company, which offers trips of between one and 16 days, attracted more than 35,000 visitors last year.
Rabbie’s said there were currently 12 positions available as guides, operating from Edinburgh and Glasgow, with plans to hire 40 new recruits in the next three years.
The company’s founder, Robin Worsnop, said his travel guides came from all walks of life and ranged in age from 24 to 62.
He said: “The personalities of our driver-guides are one of the most important and memorable components of the Rabbie’s visitor experience.
“We aim to provide new and authentic experiences that take visitors off the beaten track to discover the real country and its people.”
He added: “Our training will take care of history, local knowledge and the PCV licence, but it is the natural passion, enthusiasm and appetite for life, that’s at the top of our job description.”
Driver-guide, Mac Dalrymple, who has been with Rabbie’s for three years, said: “Personally, I think it is the best job in the world.
“Every day is different. It’s not just the privilege of getting to regularly visit the most breathtaking and remote regions of the UK, but meeting so many people from so many countries, has really opened my eyes.”
Personally I see nothing to distinguish this from something the company’s own marketing department would put out as an advert. So it’s not particular surprising, but still pretty fucking shameful, that the BBC’s article is remarkably similar to the press-releases Rabbie’s Trail Burners have put out to that effect.