Our new food media landscape: Part 1

Covid-19 has meant huge change for us as food writers and photographers; and the sudden fall of Bauer has only compounded this. We chatted to Kelli Brett about how she feels about the future of New Zealand food media.

Kelli Brett, Editor of Cuisine Magazine

How do you feel when your magazine is deemed non-essential and you are unable to print it?

Pretty damn worried. Sick to the stomach actually. But we are back! And determined to stay in the game…

We had already been working on ways to grow our brand in the digital space and although this has been an excruciatingly challenging few months, with challenge there is always opportunity. The reconnection to cooking and the home kitchen across the country has been phenomenal and now is the perfect time for us to be returning to cooking for pure pleasure rather than just for survival. If you read Cuisine, you understand that good food is essential and that there has never been a more critical time to support our local growers, winemakers and food producers, artisan producers and hospitality industry. That is what we have always done best, and that won’t change.

I hope that at least some of the titles that were dropped by Bauer will be picked up again. Our industry needs to be robust and diverse and we do need to ensure that our creative pool continues to grow. I’m incredibly proud of the group of professionals that work with us on Cuisine. I work very hard at making sure that we enable a wide variety of talent – all at very different stages of their careers – to contribute to our beautiful digital and printed content. In view of changing times, it is more important than ever that we recognise the skills and talents of this terrific group of people and help them to continue to evolve and grow while sharing our New Zealand food and drink stories with our audience. There is a real danger that as audiences turn to a huge selection of global content produced on a grand scale, they will stop connecting with our own culture and stories. We can’t let that happen.

If I could give any members of Foodwriters NZ a tip with regards to pitching story ideas it would be please read the magazine or publication before pitching. You have no idea how many pitches I receive that are just not relevant to the style of content that we produce. My second tip would be FIND & USE YOUR OWN VOICE. Don’t use words that you think we want to hear because they make you sound smart. If you wouldn’t say it in a conversation then don’t use it in your content. Perhaps not the style sought by every publication but that’s the way I roll. I love content makers that are confident in their own skin and speaking one on one with my audience. If they can make me laugh, I love them even more…

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