Is There Anybody Who Wants to Be a Career Food Critic Anyway?

More

On Wednesday, we suggested that the career food critic may be an endangered journalistic species, as fewer outlets seem interested in (or can afford) keeping a critic in place for decades. The counterpoint to that is that the job of full-time critic, which has always had its hidden drawbacks, has gotten harder of late. It's not the bucolic, eat-write-repeat process it once was, but has expanded to include blogging, tweeting, and general hobnobbing online, in addition to what's often an exhaustive dining schedule. There may be fewer full-time critic gigs available, but they're the not the dream jobs they once were.

On Thursday evening Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema pointed out on the Fork in the Road blog that departing New York Times critic Sam Sifton's 40-hour week of simply eating was just the start of the rest of the work a critic's now expected to do.

"Back in the Age of [former Times critic] Ruth [Reichl], it was merely a matter of going out to eat all the time at high-end restaurants, where a meal usually took three or four hours. You do that, say, 11 or 12 times a week, lunch and dinner plus travel time, and you've used up 40 or more hours per week already just eating, weekdays and weekends included. Goodbye family. To then have to sit down and write a long prose masterpiece of 1,100 or 1,200 words week after week required stamina, even back then. Times reviews are significantly longer than those at other papers, and crammed with details that the critic himself must initially fact-check."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In