About Jim

jimbenning-OB-250I’m the deputy travel editor at BBC.com, a global news site seen by more than 60 million readers every month. Before that, I served as the editor-in-chief of SKYE on AOL – an AOL site covering weather news, as well as space, travel, adventure and the outdoors. And prior to that, I co-founded the online travel magazine World Hum, leading it through acquisition by the Travel Channel. The site won the gold Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers for best internet travel site, and in 2010, along with NPR, the BBC and Vanity Fair, it was named a Webby Honoree in the writing category. More than a dozen stories from the site have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing anthology.

I’ve done a little writing, too, for The Washington Post, Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, The Los Angeles Times and Public Radio International. I’ve enrolled in bullfighting school, worked as a Hollywood extra, reported in Fiji in the midst of a coup and hung out with the writers of the Onion. I spent five months backpacking around Asia and another five in Latin America. My essay Lust in Translation was shortlisted in The Best American Travel Writing anthology, and other stories, including pieces on Tijuana and Thailand, were published in anthologies from Travelers’ Tales and Lonely Planet. I teach every year at the annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, and I’ve taught travel writing at UCLA and UC San Diego Extension.

I began my journalism career as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register. I live in Los Angeles, where I can occasionally be found toiling away on a novel.