Food Blog Ethics

Don’t worry, for once, this isn’t a rant.

Just found a great site for food bloggers, with an ethical code of conduct. This is fantastic!

Here’s the general food blog code (to be honest, it’s very “What I learned in Kindergarten,” but many people need a reminder).

There’s one particular to restaurant review blogging, as well.

A couple of my own notes:

*I really wish I could visit every restaurant I review twice, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money. I do, always, post updates if I’ve had a markedly better (or worse!) experience on subsequent trips. I realize that one visit isn’t always a complete picture of the restaurant, but am always HAPPY to change my mind when proven otherwise (good or bad).  A bunch of commenters on the site said basically the same thing I did, but I do think it’s a good thing to consider.

*I am going to pour over the Association of Food Journalist’s guidelines.  I absolutely will start making reservations (when I make them) in a different name– that seems so obvious, I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before.  Though I don’t consider myself a journalist, I think it’s imperative  to be as ethical as possible.

*Y’all know I’m all about full disclosure. So glad they emphasize it so much.
What do you– particularly food bloggers in Cincinnati– think?

Also some major props to Michelle’s bub.blicio.us post about Blogging with Integrity, also related to the idea of ethics and blogging.



6 thoughts on “Food Blog Ethics”

  • I usually visit a restaurant several times before writing a review. I might visit once on a weekend and another time during the week, or once during a brunch/lunch service and at dinner on a separate visit.

    That said – because I am vegetarian – if a restaurant doesn’t have anything of substance on offer for the vegetarian diner, I will call them out on it. In this day and age, every restaurant should be able to offer something for the non-meat eater. It isn’t rocket science. And if the restaurant doesn’t have anything vegetarian and can’t whip up something suitable, I won’t go back for a second or third visit – why should I?

    Totally agree with you about booking reservations under a different name. I don’t book reservations often, but always book under my maiden name rather than my married name.
    .-= veggieoption´s last blog ..Hofbrauhaus =-.

  • I’ve been all about the ethics today. I was just so irritated at BlogHer … Anyway, I also covered, in detail, my sample policy over on my wine blog. As for restaurants, it’s one of the reasons that our Open Table account is in Kevin’s name – all our reservations for restaurants that might make the blog are always in his name. It works, because 90% of the time, we don’t get special treatment. Occasionally, I’m recognized (stupid fun hair) but I’m not going to wear a hat either. 🙂

    I think, as long as we all adhere to our ethics, we’re fine. It’s those bloggers who steal content, don’t give credit where it’s due, and never let readers know when things are comp’d that are the problems. Hmm … do we know any bloggers like that? 😉
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Ethics and Integrity =-.

  • I’ve seen the code of ethics for bloggers for a while. I can see that it’s an attempt to do the right thing, but I don’t feel that I need to badge myself as ethical, I need to just be ethical.

    I accept products for review only if I think they’ll be of interest to my readers. I fully disclose how I received the products, and I never make promises to do positive reviews.

    I’ve done one of the local eating events which ask for no negative reviews. I’m considering whether I want to continue or not, but my site isn’t a review site for the most part, and I’m open about the fact that the events are promoting local businesses, not reviews.
    .-= Curt´s last blog ..BBA Challenge 5 – Ciabatta =-.

  • Funny, I was just having the conversation about multiple visits with someone this Saturday. I have some restaurants I like that have somewhat inconsistent experiences. I was struggling with how to do updates as well.

    One thing though, there are Food Bloggers like you, then there are the amateurs like me. I love the standard you set for yourself, I think the key is disclosure. I will probably never match your standards, but I will strive to disclose when there is any question of my objectivity. Mainly, admitting I am not very objective… lol
    .-= bshermcincy´s last blog ..Putz’s Creamy Whip =-.

  • i just saw this. i think it is nice in concept but i just don’t think that bloggers necessarily need to hold ourselves to the same level of ethical standards as journalists. for me, i am never going to even pretend i am going to visit somewhere more than once before writing about it. i also don’t think it’s necessary to make reservations in some other name (i don’t think that many restaurant people read my blog and also my last name is not on my blog).

    i think a lot of how you conduct yourself depends on the content of your blog and what your readers expect from you. your style of blogging is very different from mine, and actually all of us food bloggers have our own voice and angle. i do not even pretend to be at the level of critique of an actual paid restaurant reviewer and i am sure that my readers do not expect that from me. my blog is more, here is me writing about food because otherwise i would have to talk about it all day. i do think it is worthwhile for all bloggers to consider ethics and how we will apply them to what we write.
    .-= liz´s last blog ..orchids at palm court =-.

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