Jul 122009
 

imagesI might be in trouble. A friend warned me not to rant on this blog, and I agreed. Now I feel a rant coming on and I can’t stop myself. But just humor me. Wouldn’t this irritate you, if you were a food blogger?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the people who post restaurant reviews on Yelp and Chowhound are food bloggers. So they say in today’s story, about a nasty, unfounded, anonymous tip that appeared on the blog Eater LA, and how “food bloggers” must be held accountable.

The blog on which the offensive item appeared, LA Eater, covers the city’s restaurant, bar, and nightlife scene and relies on tips. There’s even a button on the right that says “Submit a tip.” So back on June 30, some tipster talked smack about the quality of food in a particular restaurant. The editor who reviewed the email should have pressed the Delete key. At the very least, she could have contacted the restaurant for a rebuttal. Instead, she just posted the tip. That’s not blogging, and it’s certainly not journalism. It’s just crap. An apology to the restaurant and readers now appears below the post.

Now, according to the Times, food bloggers need to smarten up. “…As the truism goes,” says the story, ” with great power comes great responsibility. If the Internet has helped democratize discussion and critique, requiring traditional print publications to be more transparent and responsive, then bloggers who comment on or work in opposition to the mainstream media have become its de facto watchmen. What, if any, standards should food bloggers be held to?”

Um, hello? Who are they talking about? First, most food bloggers don’t “work in opposition to the mainstream media.” They provide an alternative. Second, most food bloggers couldn’t care less about commenting on the mainstream media. And third, since when is an anonymous tipster a food blogger?

So food bloggers, I want to hear from you. Are you in the same category as citizen reviewers on websites like Yelp and Chowhound? If not, what is the difference?

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