In the past, food critics paid for their meals and were reimbursed by the newspaper/magazine. And most mainstream media food critics would go to exceptional ends to keep their identity secret. Their critique of the food would be unmarred by any special treatment from the restaurant chef or staff. End of story. But today everyone's a food critic, and with the rise in social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and more, their reviews can be broadcast far and wide. Food critic anonymity has gone out the window with one Google search.
Recently, Time.com food critic, Josh Ozersky was dressed down by the Village Voice* NYT for not revealing in a column in which he extolled the benefits of having fancy chefs catering your wedding that the caterers at his wedding were doing so for free. The recent FTC rulings mandate that bloggers disclose when they're reviewing something they're not paid for, but those rules don't extend to bloggers operating under the leaky umbrella of a corporate parent.
In the proposed panel, Jane Goldman, editor in chief of CHOW.com, one of the most popular food websites, will bring some of the most influential people in the food industry and discuss this growingly important issue in food journalism. This panel will call out the spectrum of professionalism in online and offline food journalism and the issue around transparency reverberates through all aspects of online journalism and blogging.
11th–15th March 2011