Eater Ethics Statement
The leadership team of Eater has determined the following statement of ethics which all employees and contributors agree to abide by.
Comps and Gifts
Eater staffers and contributors are permitted to attend media events, press previews, dinners with publicists, and friends and family meals, but will not solicit a comped check for a regular restaurant meal and will decline such comps when offered. Eater staffers and contributors may accept a dish sent out by a restaurant’s kitchen during a meal that a staffer or contributor is otherwise paying for.
Outside of meals, Eater staff and contributors may accept gifts/services/experience valued at less than $100, so long as the acceptance of any of the above in no way compromises or guarantees editorial coverage. This includes swag from an event that a staffer or contributor is covering, or books or products sent to a staffer’s office. This also includes samples from restaurants or food brands sent to the office from time to time, which do not influence our coverage and are never solicited from Eater employees. Any item or service given to a staffer or contributor with a value of over $100 must be specially approved and disclosed on the site alongside any instance of related coverage.
Any instance of travel, including transportation and lodging, taken by an Eater staffer or contributor that is paid for by a brand or company other than Vox Media must be specially approved and disclosed on the site in the content produced as a result of the paid or discounted travel.
Eater critics will not attend media dinners, press previews, or friends and family meals. Eater critics do not accept free dishes or meals from restaurants or their representatives unless they are items given to other patrons or regulars. Eater critics will not abuse their title to obtain favors, including reservations or choice tables. If a conflict exists between a critic and a chef or restaurateur (be it friendly or otherwise), the critic will recuse herself or himself from reviewing that restaurant or very clearly disclose the conflict. Eater critics will strive for anonymity when reviewing restaurants, meaning they will make reservations under assumed names, avoid posting photos of themselves publicly, and refrain from revealing their identities when introduced to chefs and restaurateurs.
Full-time editorial employees of Eater may not be otherwise employed by chefs, restaurants, or companies that may conflict with work done across the Eater network — including in an advisory or promotional role, whether paid or unpaid. Part-time editorial employees may be employed in non-promotional or non-marketing roles with restaurants and companies that may be covered by Eater during their employment for Eater, but any employment will be disclosed on the site when appropriate and the part-time employee will recuse themselves from covering a restaurant or business they are employed with. No employees of Eater can consult for restaurants or other food or beverage brands.
Eater employees are often invited to appear in a professional capacity as experts on television, news shows, podcasts, and social channels, in stories, or at events, some of which are organized by brands or companies that we may cover. These appearances do not constitute endorsement by the employee, Eater, or Vox Media of such brands or companies, or of any products, companies, or services discussed.
Conflicts of Interest
Eater has broad editorial independence, and our staff and contributors take that independence seriously. They will refrain from participating in activity that would compromise their journalistic coverage of an issue. Any Eater employee who has a conflict of interest will be recused from coverage and/or publicly disclose that conflict. Conflicts of interest can include a personal or family relationship, personal financial investment or donations, or working for or promoting a company or organization that they’re covering.
Freelance contributors to Eater must also disclose conflicts of interest — including receiving compensation from or being otherwise employed by restaurants or brands they are likely to cover — to their assigning editors before accepting assignments; disclosures on the site may also be necessary.
Vox Media also has a number of investors. These investors do not influence Eater’s reporting and do not have any involvement with our internal reporting process.
Eater has advertisers on our site; they are our primary source of revenue. Our company, Vox Media, employs a dedicated advertising team responsible for selling advertising space on our properties. Any feature on a Vox Media brand sponsored by a particular company or advertiser that is developed independently by the Vox Creative and Sales teams is clearly marked as an advertisement and as “Paid Content” or “Advertiser Content.” Advertisements and Paid Content do not necessarily reflect the views of Vox Media or our editorial teams; employees at Eater will not participate in the creation of campaigns or branded content for Vox Media advertisers.
Our editorial teams do not directly accept money or other consideration from individuals or entities as a condition or incentive to write a review or story, whether favorable or unfavorable. However, some of our editorial content is made possible through the support of sponsors. This content is clearly marked as content “Presented” by the applicable sponsor. While sponsors may select which content they wish to support, Vox Media does not allow our sales teams, Vox Creative, or our sponsors to control or interfere with the editorial process, integrity, and independent decision-making ability of our editorial teams and the content they create. All editorial content on Eater is based on the editorial team’s discretion, not on the desire of any company, advertiser or PR firm.
Some Eater content may contain marketing links, which means our company will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. Eater’s editorial content and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. Vox Media does employ a commerce team to optimize certain content for affiliate revenue, and such content is marked as such by including an affiliate links disclosure.
From time to time, Vox Media engages with other businesses, brands, and organizations whose activities resonate with the company as a whole, or with one or more of our editorial teams. These partnerships do not impact the content that our editorial teams independently publish. However, other teams at Vox Media may create content as part of these partnerships, and we may publish this content on our editorial sites. In these cases, we will include a disclosure to describe the nature of the relationship between our editorial brand(s) and the partner(s) and the extent to which our editorial teams were involved in the creation of the content.
Eater makes every effort for stories to be accurate upon publication. Mistakes brought to our attention will be corrected, but as a general rule, entire stories will not be removed.
Eater obtains news and content from a variety of sources. Some of our sources do not wish to be named, and we grant anonymity when we know our sources to be credible and reliable, and that their story would otherwise not be told. We make best efforts to confirm the veracity of the information provided by anonymous sources and will not include any information we have not thoroughly vetted. It is our policy not to pay sources, but on rare occasions, we may contract with a source as a co-creator of content, in which case the source may be paid a certain sum for their content creation contributions.
Eater does not tolerate plagiarism. Any reports of plagiarism will be investigated and addressed with the writers and editors who worked on a story; stories will be updated as necessary.
Vox Media hires employees for their strong, expert voices, and values their ability to build positive communities and influence on our social media platforms and their own. All Eater employees are expected to follow Vox Media’s social media policy as well as the policies of their teams and other applicable guidelines.
Eater acknowledges that online and offline harassment are a real and growing problem, and that it can have potentially life-changing consequences for those targeted by it. We take seriously the impact this can have on our employees and contractors, and will use suitable measures to protect them.
If an Eater employee is found to be involved in conducting or encouraging the harassment of an individual, we will take appropriate action.
From time to time, Eater will conduct contests and giveaways for readers. We will post rules for each contest, which will be binding on contestants who decide to participate. While giveaways or contests may be sponsored by an advertiser or partner, they are not, and should never be considered, endorsements of the companies involved or their products.