As the blogging world expands exponentially, more and more people in the culinary world believe that food bloggers—as a group—are unfair, highly critical, untrained and power hungry individuals empowered by anonymity. As trained journalists who happen to be food bloggers, we feel it is unfair to be labeled something we aren’t. By creating a food blogger code of ethics, we hope to draw attention to the food bloggers who hold themselves to higher standards.
The Food Blog Code of Ethics was written collaboratively by Brooke Burton and Leah Greenstein. We are also food writers and the people behind the food blogs SpicySaltySweet.com and FoodWoolf.com. Burton and Greenstein are currently working on their first book project, a series of culinary guides.
We encourage comments here at the site. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us at foodblogethics at gmail.
I do not profess to be a professional restaurant reviewer. I write about my experiences with food, whether it be eating out or cooking. I’m not sure where the power hungry bloggers are (perhaps I just don’t pay attention to all of them out there), but I am certainly not one. I should be able to write about my experiences as I wish, that’s the whole point of blogging.
I am NOT a professional journalist. If you are, then state it, which I’m sure you do. But why should I be censored and be held to a code that two people wrote because you don’t like that people can express opinions about food and dining experiences without a journalism degree?
I get that you don’t like being classified as a blogger, but then perhaps you shouldn’t blog. Or. Make your blog so outstanding that it stands above the “bad rep” that is supposedly out there.
I write for pleasure and to entertain people a little. I don’t do anything dishonest and I just stick to my opinions and experiences and try to stay out of the drama. Not all of us are inept writers trying to shut businesses down.
Thank you for your comment. It’s good to know that this blog is creating dialogue about accountability, freedom of speech and other important topics for food bloggers to consider.
We agree, you should be able to write about your experiences as you wish. We are not against free speech. We do not believe in censoring. We do, however, believe in civility, honesty and truth. We know everyone’s truth is different and enjoy differing opinions.
It’s true. We strive to make our blogs stand out from the rest through our writing and story telling. We felt it was important to us to define what our ethical standards are and hold ourselves to that higher code because there are many food bloggers that offer judgment without full disclosure and due diligence. The Code is not meant to be a mandatory thing for everyone in the blogosphere. This is our way to define what our standards are.
We are proud to be bloggers and hope to give the blogging community a better reputation. We wrote this because we were concerned that food bloggers were being unfairly judged as hacks, which the majority of us are not – with or without journalism degrees. And that by creating a code of conduct should give us MORE freedom to be honest, not less.
“We strive to make our blogs stand out from the rest through our writing and story telling. We felt it was important to us to define what our ethical standards are and hold ourselves to that higher code because there are many food bloggers that offer judgment without full disclosure and due diligence.”
Well it looks like you really just wrote it for yourselves. What I don’t understand is that–why have everybody join it, too? I think you approached this code the wrong way. What you could have done is put this in your blogs and stated is as yours only. If others want to join then let it grow from there. It’s very imposing from where I stand as a food blogger who just enjoys what she’s doing as hobby. I understand that this is what others are doing professionally, but I do not. Why not just have Restaurant Review Bloggers? Or something that doesn’t encroach on those who your ethics don’t apply to?
I, for one, have never felt the wrath of judgment when it comes to being a food blogger, and I guess simply because I write honestly, I don’t try to do harm to others. Just a simple good ol’ Golden Rule to blog by. I love what I do with my food blog, which is something I do as a hobby, to connect with other foodies and (home) cooks. I simply do not feel part of this group of food bloggers you speak of. Everyone who knows me know that I’m an honest person who try to do as many good things for herself, her family and friends. I don’t cheat people. I tell my readers if we’re getting stuff from companies, and what’s more, we even try to get stuff for our readers from these companies to give back somehow. It’s all in the name of honesty and community.
I’m a proud blogger and I value my reputation, and I don’t need to validate my existence as a blogger with a badge saying it so. It just sounds like when people say, “To be honest with you…” and they’re really not being honest with you.
Hi Joy. As our most recent post mentions, we’ve put off the idea of the badge right now. We think the conversation going on is much more important. When we started, this was something of a manifesto to define ourselves, but with a couple of Tweets we found that it was an issue much larger than two bloggers. Thanks for joining the conversation. We figure a lot of people got into blogging as a hobby, and they might not know about things like quote, recipe or photo attribution. We feel that properly attributing things is all in the name of honesty and community, as you call it. Same goes for treating the restaurants we’re reviewing fairly. If you’re already doing it, great!
I think the badge is a good idea. I came across your site while researching a post on the same subject matter, I’ll be linking to your pledge on my post, you’ll be able to find it at http://christophercina.com I do think you need to add a another clause regarding culinary background or lack there of on their blog in the about section.
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