Helen of MP:Chicago reports on the New York Observer doing away with their restaurant reviews, and wonders about the future of restaurant criticism in these lean financial times. She doesn’t want to believe in this grim possible turn of events for a slew of good reasons:
No editorial support? A complete anonymity meltdown? It’s painting a bleak picture for the future of tree-based journalism — something that, even though we are internet-dwelling bloggers, we’re not happy about. The best kinds of food writing and restaurant reviews exists in the tension between welll-funded, long-form print criticism, and the newer-nower-faster world of foodblogging. Lose half of that equation, and the whole thing falls apart.
We couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. On a local-level, the plus side is that the Inquirer and Daily News still have food sections and weekly reviews, as do Philadelphia Weekly and City Paper. Hopefully, rather than a harbinger of the death of print restaurant criticism, this is simply a sad side-effect of being one among dozens of newspapers and magazines with dedicated food review sections in New York.