Personal site of journalist, baker, and storyteller Tony Ganzer.
Category: The Baking Journalist
The Baking Journalist project and forthcoming book offer bite-sized thoughts on issues of journalism and society through videos and essays. It combines my vocation as a journalist and my amateur bread-baking, while hopefully contributing something positive to the commons.
Whether you come along for the discussion, or just a recipe: welcome to The Baking Journalist.
I’ve been a journalist for about 15 years, working in the US, Germany, and Switzerland, with stops in Oslo, Cairo, Prague, and more. But after I graduated from college with a journalism degree, I didn’t know exactly which direction I would head. I got a big break filling in for a reporter in Olympia, WA, and afterwards had a chance to be freelancer. But in between reporting gigs I needed something to pay for food, and gas…so I became a baker. Here’s a short story of me being a bread baker’s assistant:
In this episode, I tell the story of what happened trying to report at the pyramids a year after the revolution, and a story of charity right after we left. I also try to make Egyptian Fino bread, which I ate nearly every morning in Cairo. And thank you to all of the wonderful Egyptians who told me the proper pronunciation is “fee-no” not “fine-oh!”
I didn’t want to leave my recording gear in a public bathroom by the pyramids, but I didn’t think I had a choice. After a chance encounter with a Swiss-Egyptian man in Zurich, I ended up on a week-long reporting trip in Cairo in 2012. Hamid was going to show me his Cairo, and talk about how his native country had changed since the revolution that led to the exit of Hosni Mubarak, and a new chapter in Egypt’s rich history. We traveled to Giza for an interview, and security wouldn’t let me through with my gear. They thought I was a TV guy, and thus needed an expensive permit.
After the Irish Gingerbread video with a story from my reporting in Ireland, I really wanted to offer a story from my brief time in Cairo in 2012, one that isn’t in the reporting itself. In short, I’ll explain why I ended up leaving my audio equipment with a bathroom attendant at the pyramids. (Interested to hear more, right?!)
It’s a silly mash-up, but one driven by serious impulses.
As a journalist by profession and vocation, I listen with dismay to how some demonize the monolithic ‘media’ with a carelessness that does a disservice to valid perspectives and gripes.
I’ve written before that journalists are servants of the people at our core, and listening, responding to, and engaging with the community is vital even if it sometimes takes great effort.
As an amateur bread baker, I like creating and providing food for others to enjoy. It can be a social act, both the baking process and the eating that follows. After college, I worked in a food co-op bakery to pay for gas in between reporting gigs — you could say the two things were entwined from the start.