[Thanks for the feedback, the final Noodlies Food Blog Code of Ethics is published at the top of this blog, under the noodlies logo]
During the past few years, there’s been an explosion in the number of food blogs in Australia, there are now over 1,000 food bloggers listed on sites such as Urbanspoon and probably half as much that aren’t listed. As in any large community, food bloggers are diverse, from bloggers who update several times are week through to more casual bloggers who may go for months without a new post. Obviously each person has a different motivation, committment level and attitude about blogging. I’m aware there’s continuing controversy in the community about food blogging ethics, especially around allegedly lack of disclosure of free meals and other commercial arrangements.
Noodlies has been around since October 2009 and in that time, I’ve noticed a significant increase in respect and legitimacy around food blogging. As blogging becomes more ‘mainstream’, advertisers, sponsors and PR agencies are becoming more interested in engaging with food bloggers. Everyday I’m fielding queries and on busy days I get up to 10 email requests.
Noodlies feels it’s time for a ‘Code of Ethics’ for my blog to inform:
- readers about noodlies values and how those values are reflected on my blog.
- readers about how noodlies uses their personal details, such as emails.
- potential advertisers, sponsors and PR agencies about noodlies values.
- potential advertisers, sponsors and PR agencies about noodlies editorial and advertising policies.
It’s pointless re-inventing the wheel, so the Noodlies Food Blog Code of Ethics below relies very heavily on the work by two pioneers of food blogging Codes of Ethics, Brooke Burton of FoodWoolf.com and Leah Greenstein of SpicySaltySweet.com. Together they produced what is believed to be the world’s first Food Blog Code of Ethics in April 2009, subsequently updated as Food Blog Code of Ethics 2.0 in August 2011. The noodlies Food Blog Code of Ethics has also adopted some parts of the Code of Ethics updated in February 2011 by the Austin Food Blogger Alliance.
How you can help:
- let me know if you think a Code of Ethics is needed.
- give me your feedback. Have I left anything out? Have I been too heavy-handed?
- let me know if there are other Codes of Ethics out there that might help me refine these Codes
- let other food bloggers know, I’d love to get as many view points as possible. “An Australian food blog Code of Ethics. What do you think?” – tweet this to help spread the message.
Putting together the Noodlies Food Blog Code of Ethics has been useful in helping me think about noodlies core values and how those values should be reflected in my blog. Of course, if you’re interested, in the spirit of collaboration (one of noodlies core values) please feel free to adapt for your blog.
Noodlies Food Blog Code of Ethics (Draft)
12 May 2012
1.1 Noodlies food blog started on 15 October 2009 as my online food diary, my way of promoting the diverse food and culture in Sydney’s west. Since January 2012, noodlies content has broadened to include travel and lifestyle content.
1.2 This blog reflects how I see the world and I see them through my values. Noodlies accepts fair responsibility as a content publisher, however, I don’t see myself as a food critic or journalist. And I don’t pretend or aspire to be one.
2.1These are the key values that motivate and hold noodlies to account:
2.1.1 Fun. Life is there to be enjoyed and noodlies embraces enjoyment and optimism.
2.1.2 Curiosity. Noodlies is adventurous by nature and believes the more we learn the more we grow , which makes us enjoy the world even more.
2.1.3 Honesty. Noodlies is attracted to authenticity, transparency and sincerity. This blog reflects those values.
2.1.4 Fairness. A world full of possibilities and one that provides equal opportunities for all is a world I want to live in.
2.1.5 Collaboration. Noodlies loves to work together with other food bloggers and the industry to help grow the community.
3 Code of Conduct This is how Noodlies puts its values into practice.
3.1 Being Accountable
3.1.1 Accurately reflect the facts such as restaurant name, address, menu prices.
3.1.2 Stand behind the content and claims.
3.1.3 Understand what we post could potentially affect the livelihood of one or many people.
3.1.4 All requests for corrections will be reviewed within a reasonable time frame. When a correction is required, it should be made at the top of the post and within a reasonable time frame.
3.2 Respect and Courtesy
3.2.1 Refrain from personal attacks and name calling.
3.2.2 Tone and content are professional and respectful.
3.2.3 Take into account factors that may be out of the ordinary, for example appreciating that a restaurant has just recently opened.
3.3.1 Where a post may be positively or negatively affected by an emotional or financial connection, this should we disclosed.
3.3.2 Sponsored posts should be declared, in these cases the post was written because of a financial incentive.
3.3.3 Where a post contains products or services (including food) which have been provided free or for at a discount, this should be disclosed.
3.3.4 Advertisers and sponsors will be disclosed on noodlies using wording such as “Noodlies Platinum Supporter”.
3.4.1 Noodlies will not plagiarise. Content sourced from third parties and others blogs should be acknowledged.
3.4.2 Noodlies prefers to use our own photography and video. Before using photographs and videos sourced from third parties and other blogs, noodlies will seek permission from the rights owner and noodlies will acknowledge the rights owner. The exception includes content on YouTube and other public sharing photo and video services, in this instance, noodlies will not seek permission but will acknowledge the rights owner.
3.5 Editorial discretion
3.5.1 Blog content is totally at the discretion of noodlies. A commercial, advertising, complimentary meal, sampling arrangement does not guarantee positive or negative editorial.
3.5.2 Unless specifically part of a commercial, advertising, complimentary meal, sampling arrangement, noodlies can not guarantee coverage or the level coverage.
3.6 Advertising and other financial arrangements
3.6.1 Editorial Discretion clause (3.5) overrides all advertising, complimentary, sampling arrangements
3.6.2 Advertising and other financial arrangements will be disclosed as per clause 3.4 Disclosure
3.6.3 Noodlies reserves the right to reject or discontinue an advertising, sponsorship campaign if the advertiser or campaign values are inconsistent with noodlies’ values
3.6.4 If engaged on a paid or non-paid capacity for a client or PR agency, when working for, creating content about, or promoting that client, noodlies will clearly identify the relationship with the client.
3.7.1 Noodlies will reject comments that contain personal attacks, expletives and any other offensive content.
3.7.2 Noodlies will approve negative and positive comments that are made using respectful and courteous tone and vocab.
3.8.1 Noodlies will only use personal information for the purpose it was collected. For example, names and email addresses of subscribers to the noodlies e-newsletters will only be used for the purpose of the e-newsletter and not for any other purposes and will not be passed on to any other third parties.
3.8.2 Email addresses of visitors who comment on noodlies posts will not be used by noodlies or passed on to any other third parties, unless prior permission has been expressly given.
3.8.3 Names and email addresses of entrants in noodlies competitions will only be used for the purpose of the competition and not for any other purposes and will not be passed on to any other third parties unless part of the competition terms and conditions and prior permission has been expressly given by the entrant.
“An Australian food blog Code of Ethics. What do you think?” – tweet this to help spread the message.