A “Food Blog Code of Ethics” has been proposed, and before I begin my discussion of this concept, I want to say, “I’m all in.”
This Code has been developed by Brooke Burton and Leah Greenstein, the creators of the food blogs SpicySaltySweet.com and FoodWoolf.com. The power of food bloggers is now unquestionable, which I can attest to based on the number of emails I get from restaurants, chefs and their publicists. Before I started this blog, I didn’t know a single publicist, and now, well, it’s a different story. I like getting to know publicists. I like getting to know chefs and restaurateurs and growers. I like having the access to the behind the scenes actions of local eating establishments. But I also know that I have an obligation to my readers. Therefore, when I get comped something by a restaurant, I let you know. If I’m a personal friend of the chef, I disclose that, too.
I don’t write this blog to get free stuff or because I’m a journalist in search of that untold story. This blog exists first and foremost because it gives me an opportunity to record and share my thoughts. Only a small handful of my 260 posts to date could be considered “reviews,” as that’s not what this is about. It’s about food and fun and family. I sometimes get serious here, but not very often. I sometimes work extra hard to ensure my writing is top-notch, but usually what I quickly type ends up on the blog.
But what I do work hard to do is to be fair and ethical. I try to check out my sources and find independent verification. I prefer to report facts more than speculate. I sometimes make mistakes, and I try to come clean when that happens. And I stand behind my work. If you want to know who this “Varmint” dude is, just click on the “About” tab. No secrets. No anonymity. Just me, Dean McCord.
This is why I applaud the introduction of this Code of Ethics. I first learned about ethical guidelines when I was active with eGullet, as the people behind that organization and forum work diligently to hold themselves to the highest standards. It may make them come off as somewhat dictatorial pricks at times, but that’s not their concern. They want to be sure that folks follow rules of civility and ethics.
I am here today to announce that VarmintBites agrees to comply with the Food Blog Code of Ethics. I owe it to you, my readers. I owe it to the chefs and restaurateurs, and I owe it to myself. If you think that I’ve failed to comply, let me know, and I’ll take care of any mistakes and let you know if I disagree.
So, local food bloggers, who else is in???