Beating the Ethics Horse on Twitter

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The following is a transcript of “tweets” captured when the topic of Wine Bloggers, Wine Writers and Ethics was posted on twitter.  I put them in time order, reversing the order one gets on twitter by using the hashtag #wss2010.  I tried to include all those directly related to the discussion.

@Meadowoodnews #wws2010 Moderator: Steve Heimoff. Panelists Michael Bauer; Heather John; Thomas Ulrich, CSU San Jose journalism department

@vinography Starting conversation of ethics in wine writing at Wine Writers Symposium. Steve Heimoff presiding. #wws2010

@cfwineedu RT @1WineDude: Kicking off #wws2010 Ethics panel Dude, Aren’t they mutually exclusive :-) let us know the details of the debate.

@RonMcFarland @1WineDude would be good to start with definition of ethics #wws2010

@alaingles RT @ItalianWineGuy: #wws2010 ask not what your online community can do for you-ask what you can do for your online community

@ablegrape Really enjoyed panel with @vinography @patcisco @steveheimoff @1winedude – wish we had had more time! #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews RT @ablegrape: Really enjoyed panel with @vinography @patcisco @steveheimoff @1winedude – wish we had had more time! #wws2010

@1WineDude It’s taken about 5 mins. for Rockaway to be mentioned in the #wws2010 Ethics panel :-P #thistopicwillneverdie

@GalaxyNT RT @ablegrape: Really enjoyed panel with @vinography @patcisco @steveheimoff @1winedude – wish we had had more time! #wws2010

@IamBlu2 RT @vinography: Starting conversation of ethics in wine writing at Wine Writers Symposium. Steve Heimoff presiding. #wws2010

@RobBralow RT @RonMcFarland: @1WineDude would be good to start with definition of ethics #wws2010

@ablegrape My inner vocab geek loved @patcisco using “execrable” (state of American Syrah) and “multifarious” (referring to zesterdaily.com) #wws2010

@winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. What’s yours? http://bit.ly/cwzgeT

@1WineDude RT @ablegrape: Really enjoyed panel with @vinography @patcisco @steveheimoff @1winedude – wish we had had more time! #wws2010 <- you RAWK!

@Meadowoodnews RT @winebroad: Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. What’s yours? http://bit.ly/cwzgeT

@cfwineedu RT @1WineDude: It’s taken about 5 mins. for Rockaway to be mentioned in the #wws2010 Ethics panel :-P http://bit.ly/bL0MXb

@SommJ A panel on new media #wws2010 has prompted a flurry of tweets from the likes of @ablegrape, @vinography, @1winedude. Sign of the times

@1princeT RT @ablegrape: Really enjoyed panel with @vinography @patcisco @steveheimoff @1winedude – wish we had had more time! #wws2010

@1WineDude Is there an issue re: the proper distance between wine writing and PR / wineries (ads, freebies, junkets…)? #wws2010

@amaynard6 Okay. The #wws2010 sounds super interesting.

@1WineDude “It’s easy to have ethics when you have money.” #wws2010

@oreanawinery RT @1WineDude: “It’s easy to have ethics when you have money.” #wws2010

@1WineDude RT @amaynard6: Okay. The #wws2010 sounds super interesting. <- It is; brainpower & talent in this room is making me feel like a total hack!

@ UCBeau RT @1WineDude: “It’s easy to have ethics when you have money.” #wws2010 — love it! the hidden implications make me laugh.

@winetravel Getting a glass of paid-for Chilean Riesling to accompany tweets on ethics from #wws2010 (sorry guys, I’m in the UK where it is wine time).

@OliverStyles @1WineDude @UCBeau “hidden implications make me laugh” What, saying that most bloggers have no ethics…?! #wws2010

@GalaxyNT RT @ablegrape: My inner vocab geek loved @patcisco using “execrable” (state of American Syrah) and “multifarious” (referring to zesterdaily.com) #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: is it okay to accept junkets – possibly depends on what the PR / winery is expecting / demanding in return #wws2010

@ OpiciImports wine writers and freebies – well done! RT @winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. http://bit.ly/cwzgeT

them..transparency is key right? #wws2010
@UCBeau @1WineDude I’d imagine it’s ok to accept junkets as long as you clearly mention that you do accept

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Bon Appetit changed policy on press trips (now accepted, without conditions of coverage tho) #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews Cheers! RT @winetravel: Getting a glass of paid-for wine 2 follow tweets on ethics #wws2010 (sorry guys, in UK its wine time)

@1WineDude Ethics panel: “wine writers have a really bad reputation” (e.g., req multiple bottles, accepting comp dinner & ordering $$$$ wine) #wws2010

@kerrynewberry Hope this once black and white issue, now a fuzzy line of Editorial vs. PR comes up today during Ethics Panel at #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: editors will not hire you if you’re pushing the envelope too much and being a jerk #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: “The higher the ethics, the lower the income stream?” #wws2010

@cfwineedu RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: is it okay to accept junkets – Is Robert Parker on hte Panel ;-) He should be #wws2010

@1WineDude @OliverStyles Definitely NOT saying that here #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews Great ethics discussion between wine writers & panelists happening. Follow tweets on #wws2010 to keep up! Add your voice!

@1WineDude Ethics panel: “The media mooches” are the “worst offenders” for editors #wws2010

@kerrynewberry Hmm, what about integrity? RT @1WineDude “It’s easy to have ethics when you have money.” #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: In their experience, the print media journalists have more potential ethics offenders than do online writers #wws2010

@RonMcFarland RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: “The media mooches” are the “worst offenders” for editors #wws2010

@winetravel Ethics in wine writing – yes, but surely honesty/transparency is the most important aspect. As per @winebroad ‘s post? #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Personal ethics and official newspaper / mag ethics standards may differ #wws2010

@TishWine talking wine writing ethics only in context of trips, samples misguided. blurring lines bet edit and ads in print also a problem. #wws2010

@joejanish compare to travel writers? they get trips paid for by resorts, hotels, spas, etc RT @1WineDude is it okay to accept junkets #wws2010

@OliverStyles @1WineDude #wws2010 Sorry, but I disagree with that – personal ethics occur in print as much as they do online

@1WineDude @TishWine Haven’t touched on ads yet, audience is mostly concerned on individual ethics #wws2010

@LENNDEVOURS @1WineDude What’s the problem with requesting 2 bottles of a wine? #wws2010

@1WineDude @OliverStyles I’m just streaming from the panel – these aren’t my opinions #wws2010

@winetravel RT @TishWine: wine writing ethics … blurring lines bet edit and ads in print also a problem. #wws2010 – Not only a problem, unforgivable

@Heather John (at Bon Appetit): PR friends tell me nightmare stories about poor ethics from wine writers. Worst are print writers. #wws2010

@vinography Heather John: wine writers abusing sample requests, asking for free food/lodging, ordering most expensive wine at free dinner. #wws2010

@OliverStyles @UCBeau Ethics is tough – sometimes I think even bloggers compromise to get readers #wws2010

@winetravel Yes @joejanish: compare to travel writers? they get trips paid for by resorts etc #wws2010 … And they also debate this.

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Can u write objectively about people with whom you’re partying, friendly, etc.? #wws2010

@AlisonBing Wine + ethics: do freebies affect reviews? Paying for #LP Napa/Sonoma guide research gave me consumer’s keen sense of value/price. #wws2010

@rafaibarra RT @vinography: Heather John: PR friends tell me nightmare stories about poor ethics from wine writers. Worst are print writers. #wws2010

@vinography Can wine writers be friends with winemakers, winery owners and not compromise their objectivity? Ethics panel at #wws2010

@winetravel RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: Can u write objectively about people with whom you’re partying, friendly, etc.? #wws2010 … that’s a toughie

@rafaibarra RT @vinography: Can wine writers be friends with winemakers, winery owners and not compromise their objectivity? Ethics panel at #wws2010

@tirebouchon se amate il vino seguite @1WineDude twitta da #wws2010 napa valley e parla di bloggers e vino, molto in gamba, cool!

@mweb RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: Can u write objectively about people with whom you’re partying, friendly, etc.? #wws2010

@vinography @derricks That appears to be what all the print journalists say, too. Working under a big masthead is a luxury. #wws2010

@OliverStyles #wws2010 ‘The best friends are the ones who stab you in the chest’ – if your know your mates dont mind a bad review, then its ok.

@1WineDude Ethics panel: now getting onto the topic of conflicts from advertising in print journalism #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews Join the discussion at #wws2010 Pro-writers offering GREAT, important info. @writerkathymcd @Millennier

@AlisonBing This is why I prefer to taste anonymously. RT @vinography Can writers be friends with winemakers and not compromise objectivity? #wws2010

@OliverStyles #wws2010 I went 2 Cahors in learjet, had 3 top Guigals at lunch, didn’t write anything abt it. PR girl later: “you took the piss” did i?

@1WineDude Ethics panel: “We underestimate our readers at our own peril” #wws2010

@tandmark RT@winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. What’s yours? http://bit.ly/cwzgeT

@1WineDude Ethics panel: A lot of bloggers are getting offered junkets, juice, etc. -are they also now at risk for negative ethics perception? #wws2010

@1WineDude RT@winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. What’s yours? http://bit.ly/cwzgeT <- Excellent stuff!

@lovewineprofess RT@winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. What’s yours? http://bit.ly/cwzgeT

@lovewineprofess RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: “We underestimate our readers at our own peril” #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Answer what you’re asked, in print, so it has staying power (ie, be as transparent as possible) #wws2010

@OliverStyles As an aside, i remember being in a meeting with advertiser and editor where adv asked for ‘Return on Investment’…..hilarious #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Isn’t it also unfair to rule a wine out because it’s an advertiser? #wws2010 [ great point IMO ]

@kerrynewberry RT @1WineDude @winebroad Here’s my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. http://bit.ly/cwzgeT <- Excellent stuff!

@TheWineRules Same for all us would-be critics? RT @1WineDude: Is there an issue re: the proper distance between wine writing and PR / wineries? #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: (Some) Consensus is that expectations are THE key to ethics (and that ethics can be very personal) #wws2010

@tomcwark @Meadowoodnews What I’ve learned following the tweets is that I wish there were more tweets and wish I were there. Give us more!! #wws2010

@Jason Wilson (Wash Post): press trips lead to lousy stories, what’s the point. Heather John (Bon Appetit) I disagree. #wws2010

@TishWine Another problem with ethics = hiding behind “blind tasting” shield for reviews but then favoring advertisers other ways. #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: It’s simple not possible for all publications to pay their own way due to economics #wws2010

@tomcwark @1WineDude what are the thoughts on the Rockaway thing at #wws2010? Any lessons?

@1WineDude @tomcwark Would be awesome if you were here, man! #wws2010

@1WineDude @tomcwark Not really, just an example of how the issue crosses media types/streams #wws2010

@vinography Heather John: We had the luxury at one time to pay for every travel, meal, wine at Bon Appetit. We no longer do. Times a’changin. #wws2010

@Do artisan wineries who can’t advertise or send out 20% of production in samples get a fair shake in press? Rhetorical question? #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Be transparent & let your readers decide if you’re a shill (or not) #wws2010

@1WineDude @tomcwark Hang on – that very question just got asked…. #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews @tomcwark Taking back seat 2 this one! (Wine Writing & Ethics) Engrossed by attendees tweets #wws2010. Hot, hot topic. Join the discussion!

@UCBeau RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: Be transparent & let your readers decide if you’re a shill (or not) #wws2010 — exactly right in my opinion

@winetravel @AlisonBing Many good artisan producers I know in Europe sell all they produce through word of mouth and hate mainstream press #wws2010

@winebroad Re: press trips #wws2010. Only a bad writer would write “here’s what I did on my press trip.” Good writers find their own angles

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Problem with Rockaway event was that “bloggers were being naive” with agreement to write about the wine, etc. #wws2010

@tomcwark RT @vinography: Can wine writers be friends with winemakers, winery owners & not compromise their objectivity? Ethics panel at #wws2010. YES

@1WineDude Ethics panel: Wine industry seems to be held to much higher standard than other review writing (movies, sports, etc.) #wws2010

@winetravel RT @winebroad: Re: press trips #wws2010 – only a bad writer would write “here’s what I did on my press trip”; Good writers find own angles

@tomcwark RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: Isn’t it also unfair to rule a wine out because it’s an advertiser? #wws2010 –Of Course it is

@TheWineRules RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: A lot of bloggers are getting offered junkets, juice, etc. -are they also now at risk for negative ethics perception? #wws2010

@1WineDude Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? Do you not write about it, or do you cover it? #wws2010 @OliverStyles #wws2010 “higher standard than other review writing”…what? Is that why film and book reviews have 200x column space in newspapers?

@joejanish similar to sportswriters and athletes – i.e. Reggie Jax vs. Jim Rice RT @vinography Can wine writers be friends with winemakers? #wws2010

@tomcwark RE Ethic: Don’t give the perception you are working on behalf of the industry rather than on behalf of your reader. #wws2010

@TheWineRules As Aaron Neville sang, ‘Tell it like it is’ RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? #wws2010

@Emilysteers personally interested in the ethics discussion at #wws2010. i’m sure you can imagine why.

@vinotology RT @tomcwark: RE Ethic: Don’t give the perception you are working on behalf of the industry rather than on behalf of your reader. #wws2010

@winetravel Thanks to those reporting #wws2010 – remember @1WineDude etc. are reporting, NOT giving opinion (same problem @Catavino had at #winefuture)

@wineinkbytia RT @tomcwark: #wws2010 Question: Should people who blog and work in the wine industry EVER do wine reviews?

@1WineDude RT @winecast: @1WineDude Interesting that we bloggers are held to a higher ethical standard by the FTC, huh? <– Yeah – madness! #wws2010

@melissa_iwm Nice query. RT @1WineDude Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? Do you not write about it, or do you cover it? #wws2010

@HipsterEnology RT @TheWineRules: As Aaron Neville sang, ‘Tell it like it is’ RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? #wws2010

@OliverStyles I wish to apologise to any of my followers not on #wws2010 as my posts may give the impression of endless, psychotic, ranting. Sorry.

@1WineDude Ethics panel at #wws2010 now ending – GREAT discussion!

@mirocellars @1WineDude #wws2010 Don’t the glossy magazines sell ads 2 top scorers in the form of labels being included w/ review? Then upsell an ad pkg?

@SommelierChall RT @tomcwark #wws2010 Question: Should people who blog & work in wine industry EVER do wine reviews? [uh, Freedom of Speech?]

@SuzieLin RT @TheWineRules: As Aaron Neville sang, ‘Tell it like it is’ RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? #wws2010

@mwangbickler Somebody please transcript this conversation. It could be very useful to many. #wws2010

@Meadowoodnews RT @winetravel: Thanks to those reporting #wws2010 – remember @1WineDude etc. are reporting, NOT giving opinion (same problem @Catavino had at #winefuture).

@Timfishwine Top movie critics take junkets but not afraid to pan the film or actor they interviewed. Can wine writers on junkets say

@norcalwine It was a good one. RT @vinography: Conversation on ethics in wine writing at Wine Writers Symposium. Steve Heimoff presiding. #wws2010

@savoryexposure RT @vinography Heather John: We had the luxury at one time to pay for every travel, meal, wine at Bon Appetit. We no longer do. #wws2010

@WineSoiree RT @1WineDude: Ethics panel: what happens when the experience is awful? Do you not write about it, ? #wws2010 <~ no need to write negativity

@TomEddyWines #wws2010 What about the writer/blogger’s responsibility to educate?

@Meadowoodnews @tomcwark Hopefully they are reading the blogs and newsletters written by attendees at #wws2010

@HipsterEnology A person has personal integrity. It’s not one’s employment or hobby that dictates whether it’s possessed. Re: Ethics at #wws2010

@pinotblogger @tomcwark Yes. #wws2010

@Timfishwine @tomcwark Can, yes but much more likely to write nothing rather than write anything negative. Big difference. #wws2010

@tomcwark RT @TomEddyWines: #wws2010 What about the writer/blogger’s responsibility to educate? Is there a responsibility? What about entertaining?

@Meadowoodnews #wws2010 Christian Miller starting address w/ points on how current wine economy impacts where consumers get info, what they’re reading.

@winetravel Many worthy Italian artisan wineries aren’t DOC exporters & count on reps made by mags, @SlowFood & guides. #wws2010

@1WineDude: RT @griffiti: offer streaming video and tweets next time. #wws2010 <– AMEN!

@DanSims RT @vinography: Heather John: wine writers abusing sample requests, ask for free food/lodging, order expensive wine at free dinner. #wws2010

@griffiti Thanks 4 compliment but you confuse me with a wine blogger. I’m just a wine and tech geek.

@tomcwark RT @Timfishwine: @tomcwark Can, yes but much more likely to write nothing rather than write anything negative. Big difference. #wws2010

@SommelierChall RT @winebroad …my take on wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. http://bit.ly/cwzgeT [Tina Caputo makes excellent points]

@CriticsChall RT @winebroad …my take on #wine writer ethics, as discussed at #wws2010. http://bit.ly/cwzgeT [Tina Caputo makes excellent points]

@thefoodinista changing my name + identity after heated ethics discussion at wine writers symposium at meadowood! #wws2010

@Barrysentials RT @vinography: Can wine writers b friends w/winemakers, winery owners & not compromise their objectivity? Ethics panel #wws2010 / me: yes!

@TomEddyWines @tomcwark Why can’t a writer be both educational AND entertaining? I believe Asimov does this. You do this. #wws2010

@pinotblogger It would be ridiculous to assert that winemakers should never review wines. They are certainly qualified to give an opinion. IMHO.

@tomcwark @pinotblogger I think it’s a bad idea for a producer to review a wine for print and publication.

@WineWonkette @SommelierChall @tomcwark that’s just STUPID. Who better to provide info about wine to consumers than those who actually know about it?

@tomcwark @WineWonkette If I represent a winery client, should I be reviewing wines that compete with them? I don’t think so.

@WineWonkette @tomcwark so you do not trust your own integrity to review wine because you represent the wine industry on a number of different levels?

@tomcwark @WineWonkette I think any review of the product I give is immediately suspect because of my position and clients.. And I think it should be.

@WineWonkette: @tomcwark oh I always suspect you of something ;) haha.

@WineWonkette @tomcwark it’s all about disclosure. but in that case it violates your responsibility to your client

@WineWonkette @tomcwark. If your employer makes high end boutique wines, a mass produced wine is not its competitor and vice versa

@WineWonkette If your employer makes cabs — no reason not to review a non cab wine unless it violates an agreement with your employer

@tomcwark @WineWonkette I disagree that a cab producer does not compete with a pinot producer.

@WineWonkette And wine bloggers are not investigative reporters. Altho there don’t seem to be any of those in the main stream media any more either

@WineWonkette That’s where the regulations are stupid. Bloggers are word of mouth marketing. Wine WRITERS get PAID to write. The rules are BASSACKWARDS

@WineWonkette Why do we go through this same inane debate every 6 months? Its so completely patronizing to wine drinkers

@WineWonkette What the “ethics” debate sounds like its thought that wine drinkers are little children – it insults the wine drinkers’ intelligence

@SommelierChall To @WineWonkette, @tomcwark – Re #wine “reviews”, surely the issue is integrity. Important not to try to pass of an “ad” as a “review”.

@WineWonkette @SommelierChall Writers in all industries have been passing off ads as reviews for years.

@WineWonkette @SommelierChall I think most of this debate about “bloggers” is pushback from those losing control over information flow, though

@tomcwark RT @WineWonkette: @tomcwark oh I always suspect you of something ;) haha. AND in that you are probably wise.

@griffiti @WineWonkette @tomcwark Bevmedia also won’t review product. Sets up conflict between need for objectivity and biz priorities #nowinsituation

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    According to the long time attendees, apparently this topic or a version of it is addressed every year. Which means I might expect to be tweeting this stuff again in 12 months if I go back!