Food Blogs and Citizen Journalism

I’m just back from the USA where I attended the annual conference of the Society for Nutrition Education (SNE). (http://www.sne.org/)  One of the many great sessions was about nutrition education and social media and this inspired me to write a post on food-related blogs.

It seems that such blogs are among the most popular and fastest-growing in number worldwide. They are also one of the vehicles for what is known as ‘citizen journalism’.

Citizen journalism generally refers to a broad range of activities in which everyday people contribute information or commentary, particularly about news events. This type of journalism has been around since  the first mass printing and distribution of pamphlets; but with the birth of digital technologies it has become much more pervasive. People now have unprecedented access to both the tools of production and of dissemination.

Citizen journalism encompasses content ranging from user-submitted reviews on a restaurant, to comments and even news stories from readers being published in online sites of traditional news outlets. Blogs are considered as falling somewhere in-between: often offering factual information, as well as commentary or opinions.

But one important characteristic of citizen journalism is that it somehow obliges the writer to go beyond simply presenting one’s musings on a topic. The unstated remit is to develop a balanced story which will be genuinely useful to readers.

I see food-related blogs as potentially meeting this remit in different ways. Some blogs offer a steady stream of  up-to-date and comprehensive (scientific, historical,  cultural, environmental) information about a multitude of topics, or specialising in one particular topic; others regularly present very practical tips on food preparation and presentation, often accompanied with recipes and photos showing the process and/or the end-product. Some food bloggers adopt a critical approach, presenting well-argued commentaries on hot topics of the day, whilst others develop occasional short-lived blogs offering personal insights and useful guidelines, such as a travel blog related to food experiences during a particular holiday.

But enough of my musings. 🙂 Below are links to a just a few of the food blogs showcased at the SNE conference this year, as well as some blogs I visit myself when I find the time. Check these out and log in again to the Malteaser later this week for some lighter fun news from the world of food innovation.

http://www.culinariaandwellness.com/blog (by Dr Karen Mugliett – a fellow Nutrition, Family & Consumer Studies lecturer at the University of Malta)

http://nutritionmythbusters.blogspot.com/ (by University of Missouri Extension team)

http://enourishment.blogspot.com/ (by Marie – A Registered Dietitian from California)

http://nutritionnibbles.blogspot.com/ (by Sybil Herbert – A Registered Dietitian from Canada)

http://www.julienegrin.com/blog/ (by Julie Negrin – A Nutritionist from New York City)

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One Response to “Food Blogs and Citizen Journalism”

  1. Sybil Says:

    Thanks for the mention Suzanne!
    I love your blog… so much great information! 🙂

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