Food, Drink And Culture Reporter

1 week agoUtica, NY

Utica, NY, USA Req #15760

Monday, May 10, 2021

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Dining, food shopping and cooking in the Mohawk Valley is central to life for local residents, most of whose families have experiences the immigrant or refugee or migrant experience as they, their parents, or their grandparents or great-grandparents arrived the historically welcoming city of Utica.

From Italian bakeries to tomato pie to soul food to pierogies to goulash to pho to Spanish rice, each wave of arrivals has left its mark on the local food scene.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network/Atlantic region, seeks a food, drink and culture reporter to share the story of the region's rich culinary history and present-day evolution, capturing the passion and pride long-term residents and new arrivals alike possess about their favorite culinary delights.

Based in the Mohawk Valley, this position will encompass the dining scene from Cooperstown to the Adirondacks but primarily in the Mohawk Valley of New York state.

Please note: The successful candidate will grasp and explore the close relationship of food with racial and ethnic heritage in the Utica-Rome-Herkimer area.

Reporting should be people-centered, and narrative reporting that delivers rich insights is highly welcomed. A typical week might take this journalist from a century-old pizza establishment to the newest coffee shop in a historic building; from a profile of a newly arrived chef to an examination of how well locally owned restaurants are doing compared to chain restaurants as the pandemic eases. We seek a passionate, focused and curious multi-media reporter and nimble storyteller willing to jump on trends but also engage audiences in the stories and issues behind the food brought to their tables.

The food, drink and culture reporter will work at times in partnership with USA TODAY food and features reporters throughout New York and the Atlantic region and sometimes beyond.

An ideal candidate is someone capable of quickly establishing their voice and building a loyal following on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They will deliver a mix of breaking news, compelling profiles, trend pieces, long-term enterprise, compelling multimedia assets and social engagement.


  • Strong writing skills and a command of grammar and style.
  • Experience with social media, including Instagram Stories, as a tool to build audience and as a source for beat development.
  • Experience with and interest in multimedia, including video and podcasting.
  • A self-starter who owns the beat yet works collaboratively with others locally and regionally to meet common goals.
  • A journalist committed to values of fairness, diversity, inclusion and professionalism.
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • At least two years of applicable experience as a reporter/writer.
  • Proven experience with content management systems and social media channels.
  • Good time management and organizational skills.
We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don't limit your upload to a resume; show us what you've done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

• Your resume - one to two pages

• A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job

• Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you've written, produced, or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.

It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.


Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are a drug free, EEO employer committed to a diverse workforce. We will consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, education, political affiliation, or veteran status.

Job ID: utn-15760