Most in New York media take themselves way too seriously, so FishbowlNY loves it when they get served a big, steaming dish of humble pie. That’s exactly what happened on Friday afternoon, when Gothamist wrote about three blogs — Eater, Jaunted and Grub Street — accepting free airline tickets in exchange for a post.
It all started when LAN airlines pitched the blogs to come document a publicity stunt in which they would give away round trip tickets to any destination in South America to every person at a restaurant. Gothamist declined, but the other blogs didn’t. Eater, Jaunted and Grub Street all wrote about the event soon after, without disclosing that they had received free tickets too.
It was only after Gothamist started poking around and asking questions that the blogs added disclosures to their posts, and indicated that they (of course!) wouldn’t be using the tickets.
The relationship between journalists and companies is always a sticky one, but the blogs all should have mentioned getting free tickets. But admitting that you got paid off to write an ad for a company kind of tarnishes that air of importance, doesn’t it?
Oh, and FULL DISCLOSURE (see, not that hard): I have written for Gothamist.