Many publications and media companies subscribe to the Associated Press (AP), which sends them food stories.
AP produces stories that appear in thousands of newspapers and the websites of television stations, new media companies, and radio stations. J.M. (Jason) Hirsch is the company’s food editor. And the good news is that he assigns food stories regularly to freelance writers.
Hirsch is no slouch himself when it comes to writing about food, having authored High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking and writing the occasional feature for AP. He’s also the author of two blogs: Lunchbox Blues, documenting the meal he makes each day for his 7-year old son; and Off the Beaten Aisle, a blog for the Food Network that he writes as part of his job at AP.
I interviewed Hirsch about his job and opportunities for freelance writers at AP:
Q. How did you become AP’s Food Editor?
A. I was a reporter specializing in crime and juvenile issues. I loved to cook and began taking an interest in food writing. I started doing a column on vegetarian food. Then AP decided food was a big issue around 2000, and it became time for a dedicated food writer. I was given a lot of freedom to pursue great stories, and food became a bigger beat.
When my predecessor retired seven years ago, I was asked to take over as the food editor. Now I have writers across the country who cover food.
Q. What are you in charge of producing each week?
A. We produce a weekly package of stories that covers all facets of food, plus