2023 June Featured Journalist of the Month: Bob Nesoff

NATJA’s founder and first president is an award-winning journalist with some 40 awards to his name as a reporter for two major daily newspapers. His first travel article was on the diversion of water for Niagara Falls to the Canadian side to study the American Falls. There was a photo of him standing at the edge where the water would normally have been gushing over. Always the adventurer, he was invited into a cage with al ion at the New York World’s Fair. He said the lion “stared him down.”

Bob and his late wife, Sandy, also a NATJA founder, worked together for more than four decades until her passing two years ago. Bob’s history/travel book, “A History Lovers Guide To Bergen County” garnered a 4/5 star rating on Amazon, as did his novel “Spyder Hole” (not a travel book about terrorists).

Bob has been named to Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in The Media and Communications since 1998. He was presented with the Marquis Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

He has a “Bucket List” that still contains a number of destinations. He recently checked off Masada but still has Machu Pichu, the Taj Mahal, and other destinations on the list. He commented, “As much as I’ve seen, there are so many more places I have not.” The recent NATJA annual conference had him check off the Arctic Circle.

“Travel is a great equalizer. It brings people of so many diverse cultures together and creates an understanding of each other. You can’t hate someone when you are on a personal basis with them,” Bob says is his philosophy.

1. What got you into travel writing?
A desire to meet people of other cultures and pass that along. Also, the adventure of being able to see different things and learn about others to pass along as a journalist.

2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Challenging? Not frequently, but periodically invited to a destination, attraction, etc. that is far below par and telling the p]representatives that if I was to write about it, it would be truthful. That’s not always greeted with joy.

3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
Two things. A toothbrush and a camera

4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Gosh, there were so many. But one that stands out was actually riding an ostrich in South Africa. It was like sitting on a giant chicken and holding on to its wings.

5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
How did I learn about NATJA. I was the founder and first member. I set about it because I felt a need for travel journalists to have an organization that was not elitist and was a benefit to its members as is today’s NATJA.

6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Best piece of advice to a rookie: Look into the subject and, above all, be honest in your writing. You have to look into a mirror in the morning and you want to like and respect the person you see looking back at you.

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