Monday, November 3, 2014

The Problem with Reporting on Detroit's Dining Scene

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Artists's sketch of skepticism and quality in Detroit food reporting
  • Artists's sketch of skepticism and quality in Detroit food reporting


What's the problem with reporting on Detroit's fascinating, ever-evolving dining scene? Foremost, it's the competition between several different websites all pining to be first to say that a hotly anticipated restaurant is open. 

Take the latest, which has Eater Detroit declaring that Selden Standard is opening Friday, based on a rumor from Joe Hakim of Hungry Dudes. Truth of the matter? Untrue, according to our sources.

It's part of a larger problem with Tweet-it-right-now "reporting" in the Detroit dining scene. It has gotten to the point where online readers get endless photos of empty interiors before a restaurant opens, and jump-the-gun rumors reported as fact. As for actual reviews of the restaurants once they've had a chance to tweak menus and deal with service hiccups? Not so much. As for discussions of longtime restaurants that might benefit from a bit of re-evalutation and context-setting? We don't see it. Instead it's a game of you-saw-it-here-first, even if, frankly, there wasn't that much to see — and nothing to taste … and it wasn't even accurate.

How about we all take a nice breath, huh? Stop striving to be so up-to-date that we hop atop rumors and don't check our sources? 

Better still, how about waiting until we've had that first meal before sending that Tweet?

Just a thought.


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