The Objective is looking for reporting, essays, and criticism on the 2020 “reckoning in food media” — what the future of food media could look like and what we can learn from its past.
We are looking for stories that focus on the intersections of identity — race, gender, class, dis/ability, sexuality — and challenge stereotypes in food media. You are also welcome to challenge what reporting and criticism of “food media” is. We are open to, and encourage, pieces that aim to spark conversation on who’s not usually centered in legacy food media — agricultural workers and service workers, for example.
Javier Cabral — the editor of L.A. TACO, author, and former restaurant scout for Jonathan Gold — will be guest edit the package.
We will be accepting pitches through Nov. 15, 2022.
This series is both digital and print. Due to space constraints, we can’t fit every accepted pitch into our print magazine, which will be available in and sent out early 2023. We will let you know during pitch acceptance if we’re able to offer print space for your piece.
Whether acceptance or rejection, you will hear back from us as soon as possible. Please review the FAQ at the bottom of the page before reaching out with questions.
Thanks so much for your interest!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are examples of themes/ideas that might fit this call for pitches?
- How celebrity chefs are covered at the expense of their workers. Where are discussions about labor and the costs of making food, especially given the pandemic?
- What has traditionally been depicted as “high-class” food and why? How does that positioning affect the way food, restaurants and culture are covered?
- Post-2020 “reckoning” for Bon Appetit and other food media publications, what structural changes have been made within food media? What kind of food coverage is getting prioritized?
- How food service unions, farmworkers and labor rights are covered. What are primary focuses in a story, and what does that say about media priorities?
- Is it possible to gentrify food? What does that look like and what would it mean if food was gentrifiable?
- Food is often covered in an apolitical manner. How might that framework shift?
What is The Objective?
The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom building collective and narrative power for journalists and communities that have been misrepresented or dismissed in order to change the way journalism is practiced in the U.S.
Here is how we describe it: Major American newsrooms have called themselves objective for generations. But their coverage has always been defined by homogenous teams that fail to account for race, gender, class, disability, and sexuality. Despite holding up objectivity as journalism’s gold standard, major U.S. newsrooms have never consistently lived up to their promised ideals of fairness and impartiality.
From 2020 to 2021, the organization was all-volunteer. We are a reader-supported small newsroom and pay our contributors what we can based on reader support and other revenue.
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How much do you pay?
Our budget currently allows us to pay between $200 to $600 per piece, depending on the length and story type. The majority of our donations go toward sustaining our ability to continue paying and to be able to do so consistently. Our editors and leadership team are currently all volunteers.
How will I know if my pitch was accepted?
We will contact you as soon as we are able. Please see the noted timeline for the submissions window above.