Major Media Food Writing Is Now Officially Dead. Here's the Guy Who Killed It.

Want to know what the labor market looks like for food writing? Have a good look at this job "opportunity" at Epicurious for an aspiring food writer:

So far, so good. But here's where it begins to get ... depressing:

...So, this is three jobs, then? Maybe four.
"Links to published work" ... for someone "who is at the beginning of her/his career"?

At this point, this poor un-self-aware gentleman and his "amazing job" began to receive severe blowback.
This tweet was particularly blunt:
And then... things got serious:

There's an old saying: "Never go inside a sausage factory, you might see how the sausage is made." Well, major food media is sausage--and now we've had a good long look at exactly how it's made: on the backs of people working "amazing jobs" like this.

This ought to shatter any serious reader's interest in Epicurious as a site, and perhaps also shatter any reader's interest in any of Conde Nast's publications.

A list of Conde Nast publications:

Architectural Digest
Ars Technica
Bon Appétit
Condé Nast Traveler
Golf Digest
Teen Vogue
The New Yorker
Vanity Fair

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Marcia said...

Oh boy, I have a lot that I could say about this. For one's not just him.

I wish, I WISH I had saved this job posting on Craigslist that I read several years ago. It was ... amazing. Very very similar to this one.

They were looking for someone fantastic. Energetic. "Can Do Attitude." Willing to give 120%. It was in a planning/ admin assistant role. They would have multiple responsibilities. ONLY THE BEST is good enough for this company. Someone who is UBER efficient and can multi-task like a BOSS.

...for 20 hours a week. Um, ok. You want someone to get a full 40 hours of work done in 20 hours, and only pay them for 20.

The other thing is print media, and how it has fallen. People have to be willing to pay for it, have to be willing to pay for news and newspapers (if you want to get actual quality). It's like buying a book from an author that you like, in that sense.

So I feel like print media has been on a downward spiral forever.

Onto Conde Nast. Decades ago now, I discovered this amazing magazine called "Women's Health and Fitness" (or something like that). It was hard to find, and I loved the few that I had. It came out 4-6x a year. The articles were amazing - very inspirational, and included things like women doing amazing climbing, hiking, or whatever.

Then Conde Nast bought them and RUINED them. I never renewed after that. They basically turned it into another women's fashion type magazine/ Shape/ Self, or whatever.

Daniel said...

Interesting Marcia, and thanks for the extra context on Conde Nast. It's a difficult business obviously, the market is disappearing, so hopefully today's young employees can smell the desperation in job "opportunities" like these and take a pass.