In this week’s Focus, we speak to editor Chris Gaynor about the relaunch of Plentyonyourplate…
About the publication:
How do you differ from other publications in your sector?
Plentyonyourplate is a start-up community food journalism site aimed at citizens who have a passion for food, and want to write about it. So far, we’ve had everyone from freelance food writers, health people who have published books, trainee journalists, and even national newspaper journalists enquiring about the site.
What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
This is a site that will cover almost everything to do with food. I have ambitions if it really takes off to build a fully fledged community food membership site, similar to the UKs great premier citizen journalism The-Latest.com.
How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine/website, is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
At present, I’m aiming on having at least three different columns per week on different aspects of food. I don’t just want people to submit restaurant reviews or recipes, although if there is a recipe/s or unusual angle to it, then I will run it. Like normal citizen journalism, I’m looking for the alternative news from a whole variety of different writers/bloggers/journalists.
How do you decide the content, front covers and headines?
I edit and sub-edit the contributions that come in.
Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
It’s a start-up venture so will be producing a list as it grows.
Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
As above, I’m looking for a wide variety of contributions from people involved in food.
Do you work closely with PRs?
Not at moment, but hope to in future.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Getting the point of the site across and sending the right people over to us.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Describe a typical day at work: / What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)?
The day involves a whole wide range of activities, including: site promotion, hunting for useful ideas for news/features/opinion articles, writing the odd article, advertising the site and getting people to get in contact, optimising the site for the search engines, keeping up to date with the food industry.
What do you love about your work?
I love not only the writing and editorial side, but working on the technical aspects of making a website fully optimised to gain traffic. I love learning the different coding needed to design web pages.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I’ve done work experience on both print and online, including publications abroad.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Write the truth.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
I’d love to be a chef, I suppose I could do that in conjunction with this…..
What media do you seek out first thing in the morning?
The usual suspects – newspapers, but I also love reading blogs on politics, Iain Dale etc, and journalism sites, as well as Yaro Starak’s great entrepreneur’s journey blog. Nathan Hangen also writes a great blog about being an internet entrepreneur.
What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
I feel guilty when I’m not updating the sites, so there is always at least one updated story. As journalists/writers, we are never off duty, if a good story is around or a good idea comes along.
[img|jpg|Plentyonyourplate editor Chris Gaynor]