A reader recently asked:
I took the road less traveled in becoming a food journalist. I fear this road is now closed, permanently. There’s just too much traffic for it to handle.
My background is in General Linguistics. After a long time in Japan, I returned to Los Angeles, where I was shocked at the reporting about Asian food. At that time, the early eighties, there happened to be a big influx of Asian immigration to L.A., and thus, new Asian restaurants.
One day, I took umbrage at an especially uninformed review, called the new L.A. Times Restaurant Editor, Ruth Reichl, and spoke to her at length. My criticisms annoyed her. “Why don’t you submit a story”, she said. I did, and before long, I had a job.
That’s not gonna happen today, even at the small town level. There’s a surfeit of food writers in the Blogosphere, and print journalism is dying.
So in my view, there are three paths one can take.
Path A is to become a famous chef, and assault the media.
Path B is to attend Journalism School, and look for an entry level job.
Path C is to start your own blog, promote the hell out of it, and attract some attention.
I have to go now. My oatmeal is ready.
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