2018 - Fall

The Beat: Food Writing (Print/Online track)

Course Number: JOUR-UA 201.002

Day & Time: Monday 10:00am-1:40pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 653

Instructor: Amy O’Connor

Investigating Journalism, Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word

This course is designed to hone the student journalist’s ability to research and report deeply and to be able to imagine and develop fresh ideas, test them with the strength of his or her reporting and research, and then to present them in story form. Students will be expected to keep weekly beat notes or blogs, exploring what is current in the topic and demonstrating week after week the shoeleather they have worn in pursuit of their subject matter. Out of this work will come four or five stories in narrative, explanatory or investigative style, depending on the instructor and the specific assignment. Syllabi differ by content of the course but all sections emphasize idea development, interview technique, reporting, background research and writing skills across genres. Broadcast sections vary only by medium.

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” – Brillat-Savarin, French epicurean.

This quote captures the spirit of what you will explore in the deliciously creative, rapidly evolving, and highly competitive world of food journalism. With NYC as our beat, we’ll find fresh ways to discover, pitch and tell the stories of those who grow, make, and serve the foods we savor. We’ll bring them to life in a variety of formats with the goal of pitching your best work to your favorite food publication or website.

We’ll learn fresh approaches to writing news and features; restaurant reviews and recipes; interviewing and profiling chefs, farmers and restaurant owners; tracking trends and fads; and taking on hot button food-related issues like cleansing, economic disparity, and food safety.

Amy O’Connor is a digital and magazine journalist and a former restaurant reviewer and food columnist.