Print is dead. Film is dead. We might as well be all-inclusive: media is dead. As a former filmmaker, I’ve heard similar laments: the future of sitting in a dark room with a large screen is constantly being questioned and the coming of YouTube was hailed as the end of a profession. Now an aspiring food writer, I recognize a similar environment of fear and doubt present in the publishing world. As Bob Dylan aptly pointed out, “The times they are a-changing.”
To get a better perspective, I recently attended a panel called The Future of Food Journalism, hosted by Culintro. I was particularly intrigued by their choice of panelists. Rather than sitting down the editors of Conde Nast’s food magazines or former restaurant critics, Culintro invited the food editor of Time Out New York Gabriella Gershenson, senior food editor of Salon.com Francis Lam, Tasting Table creator Nick Fauchald, and Edible New York/ Brooklyn/ East End magazine’s Brian Halweil. Young, niche, community-based writers and editors in the midst of a changing industry so I felt hopeful about what news they would bring from the trenches.
Understandably, though, the moderator, food historian Andrew F. Smith, began the evening on a bit of a gloom and doom note by talking about the folding of Gourmet magazine. The big question was the first question he threw at the panel, starting with former Gourmet editor Francis Lam: Is print dead?