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Jonathan Gold, Ruth Reichl and Others on the State of Food Journalism

Up until Jonathan Gold in 2007, no food critic had ever won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, thanks to Gold, Michael Pollan and the dawn of Yelp, food writing has taken on a whole new importance in the cultural consciousness. Poynter’s Dawn Fallik put together a series of interviews with prominent food editors and writers on the emerging impact of food writing.

Here’s Gold discussing, presumably, Yelp–although he doesn’t say it by name.

The online food world runs the gamut. Some of it is good because there is so much food information out there. And some of it is less good because there are so many people reporting news that is so little news.

The public has a power they didn’t used to. I’m certainly an expert on a lot of things, but you always have readers who know more than you do, and these days they have a voice.

Longtime Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, meanwhile, talks about the tremendous effort it took to convince editors and journalists to take food seriously as a topic worthy of in-depth coverage.

One of the things that stunned me was that in 2006, I gave a speech to the National Association of Editorial Writers asking them to please pay attention to food as an issue. It wasn’t happening. You couldn’t make that speech anymore because that’s what they do; food is on the editorial pages all the time.

Food issues are now really part of the national agenda. Mrs. Obama has been really important in making that happen, but “Fast Food Nation” and the “Omnivore’s Dilemma” — those were the tipping point.

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