Alt-weekly/blog Creative Loafing Atlanta's food editor and restaurant critic Besha Rodell is really committed to her anonymity. So much so that when she participated in a video interview, she was cloaked entirely in a black sheet* with her voice digitally altered. It's sort of a stunt, as the interview doesn't dig much deeper than her related article about anonymity, because I don't know? She sort of looks like a terrorist?
Anyway, in the article, she admits that "once a critic has been in a city for a long period of time, total anonymity is practically impossible," and while she rejects "the notion that anonymity doesn't matter," she also rejects "the notion that a critic's effectiveness is nullified once she's recognized." She believes that in many cases, anonymity can make "a big difference," so she intends to continue to use pseudonyms and keep a low profile. As for the next generation of critics, in the age of social media, Rodell thinks anonymity is "unlikely at best."
* Update: Besha Rodell tweets to let us know it's not a sheet but a "balaclava with the mouth stapled shut and a black cape." She "wanted a Donnie Darko costume, but couldn't find one."
· Food feature: On the anonymity of a restaurant critic [Creative Loafing]
· Dining critic anonymity: the hard truth [Creative Loafing]
· Anonymous Restaurant Critics: A Field Guide [-E-]
· All To Catch a Critic Posts on Eater [-E-]