Right or wrong, black or white
Cross the line you’re gonna pay
In the dawn before the light
Live and die by the shades of gray
– Robert Earl Keen
Do you care about beer writing ethics? Do think those the last three words even belong together in a sentence? Or do you figure we’re all here for the free beer and any free beer is a good beer?
Pete Brown writes today about “Blogging, ethics and payola – what is OK?”
A timely coincidence for some of us, because there is a move afoot to revive the North American Guild of Beer Writers. You can get a glimpse of this by following @nagbw on Twitter. And a glimpse is likely all you’d want. Lots of emails flying about, inside
baseball beer communications1 chatter, including about ethics.
For a taste, look at the longest lasting discussion to ever break out here. It started with a Kenneth Tynan quote — “A critic’s job, nine-tenths of it, is to make way for the good by demolishing the bad.” It turned into a conversation about much more, again including ethics. I found it interesting (and participated) and since I’m paying for the rent here I guess that justifies it.
For me it’s a matter of trust. Ethics matter for the same reason getting the facts right matters.
But do those who don’t write about beer in print or cyberspace care?
1“Communications” because typing bloggers/writers or writers/bloggers and discussing where they overlap leads to whole ‘nother conversation.