The closing of Gourmet naturally had me considering the relevance of newspaper food sections. Not that I wasn't already. Ads are down, budgets are down, the number of pages are down.
In a conversation I had with Ruth Reichl, the now-defunct magazine's editor-in-chief, I couldn't help but ask for her take on whether what I'm doing (and indeed, what she did at the Los Angeles Times before her restaurant critic years) matters. Here's what she said that didn't make it into today's story:
"One of the things that's incredibly short-sighted on the part of many people who put out newspapers is they feel like if advertising isn't there in the section, it doesn't deserve to live. But if readers are interested, it deserves to live. And there's more indication that readers are more interested now in food than ever before."