New Seattle Times food section
Posted 05 June 2002 - 06:38 AM
(Note: I write for the Times, but not for the food section, and I'm not an employee of the paper, so laud or criticize as you wish. I do.)
Posted 05 June 2002 - 03:14 PM
Posted 05 June 2002 - 06:14 PM
Layout: I'm not fond of stories from the back page continuing on earlier pages, but I imagine advertisers love it. It does make some sense to have a second front page to run the wine articles.
Content: Not much new on food in there...could use some fresh writing (and I don't mean delish!) and ideas.
Thanks for asking.
Posted 06 June 2002 - 12:18 AM
Cookbook Specialist and Consultant
Posted 06 June 2002 - 07:04 AM
Is anyone here seriously into wine, and if so, what do you think of the coverage?
Posted 06 June 2002 - 04:08 PM
I'm afraid newspapers are becoming less interested in what the readers want and far more interested in how they can bundle and market newspaper advertising to potential advertisers. I can see why the emphasis would be on wine in the "revamped" section.... think of how many wine shops, distributors, wineries and restaurants that would potentially buy an ad in a wine laden food section. From a marketing standpoint, the Times is positioning itself to the wine industry, not wine drinkers. The information in the section was barely reader friendly or leveraged much real "information." Rather, it read like a glorious back stroke to the wine industry. The "Wine Adviser" column is a clear example of this. I almost thought it was a paid advertisement.
If the section was truly reader driven, the editors and writers would have featured much more consumer influenced topics.
I think that's what most newspapers are doing to readers these days.. become much less relevant for the sake of advertising revenues. With corporations like Knight Ridder obsessed with obtaining 20 percent profit margins, there's an obvious shift from consumer to advertiser. Why do you think everyone is turning to the Internet for information? Because it's consumer driven, not advertising driven (oh, but that all is changing)!
Forgive me for rambling, I've become very disengaged with the newspaper industry, particularly the features/living sections of the local papers. The coverage is so disappointing!
So if I was a publisher and could create my own food section from scratch, I'd do exactly what heyjude suggested: create a forum for food discussion and create standing columns with consumer driven information. However, I'd have a hell of a time selling ads and I'd be out of business in three issues.
For the record, the only thing I thought was awesome about the Food section is Nancy Leson's column. I love reading her stuff. She completely has her finger on what the readers want: real information!
-- Frank Bruni
Posted 08 June 2002 - 12:54 PM
familysecrets, thanks for the compliment. I hope you enjoy the potato gatto. I actually made a different kind of potato cake for lunch today: took some leftover brandade with potatoes, formed it into patties, and sauteed them and served atop some broccoli rabe that I we just got at the farmer's market this morning. I highly recommend this lunch.
This is off-topic as usual, but if anyone is looking for salt cod, I paid $12 at the Spanish Table but was informed by some Catalan friends that they get the same stuff (imported from Canada) for $9 at PFI. A pound of salt cod goes a long way.
Posted 08 June 2002 - 05:06 PM
As for the wine info, it was of interest to me. I liked the article on the sandblasting the wine bottles (was glad to see the McCrea bottles pictured), which was interesting, but felt it was perhaps too long an article and told me more than I really wanted to know. The diffferent appellations was very interesting to me, but the article itself was a bit dry. I have a soft spot for Eastern WA wines, and love to go wine tasting over there. I'm a real wine dummy so if I can learn more about it, that would be a plus. Several years back I worked at Balcom's restaurant in Kennewick (of Balcom & Moe winery). It was my introduction into the world of wines. Having lived over there, I'm really proud of the way the WA wines have blossomed over the years into some truly fine wines. I love hearing about the Horse Heaven Hills area, etc., but that's just me. I also love wine tasting in the Napa & Sonoma valleys.
That said, I think heyjude and girlchow would do a hellava good job running the Seattle Times food section anyday!
If familysecrets gets a chance, I would love hearing more about her winery sometime. ie. what type of grapes she grows, what types of wines they produce, the name of the winery, etc. Do you produce the legendary Oregon Pinot Noir?