Rough Guides

Rough Guides

Rough Guides Ltd is a guidebook and reference publisher, owned by Pearson PLC. Their travel titles cover more than 200 destinations, and are distributed worldwide through the Penguin Group. The series began with the 1982 Rough Guide to Greece, a book conceived by Mark Ellingham, who was dissatisfied with the polarisation of existing guidebooks between cost-obsessed student guides and "heavyweight cultural tomes". Initially, the series was aimed at low-budget backpackers. Rough Guides have incorporated more expensive recommendations since the early 1990s and colour printing since the late 1990s and are now marketed to travellers on all budgets. Much of the travel content is also available online. The motto of Rough Guides is "Make the Most of Your Time on Earth".

The initial focus on travel has broadened to a coverage of reference subjects, including music {Specifically Genre to Band/Artist analysis and information}. (world music, rock and hip-hop, jazz, classical and works on individual artists and bands) and a varied general reference list on topics such as film, literature, popular science, ethical living, Shakespeare, pregnancy and birth, and the Internet and related subjects such as e-Bay, blogging and iPods.

Early titles

Most of the early titles were written or edited by John Fisher, Jack Holland and Martin Dunford, who along with Mark Ellingham were co-founders and owners of the Rough Guide company. In 1995, they negotiated the sale of the series to Penguin Books, a process which was completed in 2002. In Spring 2006, Mark Ellingham said he had grave concerns about the growth in air travel because of its growing contribution to climate change. He launched a joint awareness campaign with Tony Wheeler (Lonely Planet founder) and Rough Guides began including a "health warning" in each of its travel guides, urging readers to "Fly less, stay longer" wherever possible.

Ellingham left Rough Guides in November 2007, after the company had celebrated "25 Rough Years" with a celebratory series of books, to set up a new green and ethical imprint at Profile Books. Rough Guides is now run by co-founder Martin Dunford (travel) and Andrew Lockett (popular reference), under the aegis of Penguin. It is based at the Penguin offices at 80 Strand, London, with satellite offices in Delhi and New York, though it was announced in September 2008 that the latter office would be closing at the end of the month, as a result of corporate cost-cutting in the wake of competition from Lonely Planet and other guidebooks.

Recorded anthologies of world music

In association with UK-based record label World Music Network, the Rough Guides have issued over 180 recorded anthologies of the music of various nations and regions.

BBC Rough Guide TV series

In the late 1980s, the Rough Guides brand was 'spun-off' into a series of successful travel shows on BBC 2. Initially part of Janet Street Porter's DEF II strand, alongside Rapido and Jovanotti's Gimme 5, the show outlasted the 'yoof-tv' strand and became established in BBC 2's early 1990s evening schedule. Later editions of the show, usually hosted by Sigue Sigue Sputnik associate Magenta Devine (with various male co-presenters through the show's run), were repeated on the Sky Travel channel until 2005. A new Rough Guide series of fifteen thirty-minute programmes started production in November 2007 and began airing on Five (the UK's fifth terrestrial channel), on 7th January 2008. The new series is made by the award-winning factual TV company, Lion Television


External links

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