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Slight Change to CoffeeGeek's Editorial Policy
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,652
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
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Posted Thu Jun 19, 2014, 6:21pm
Subject: Slight Change to CoffeeGeek's Editorial Policy

In the coming weeks, we're going to doing a slight change in our editorial policy at CoffeeGeek.com

Since the birth of the website in 2001, I have been adamant about our editorial policy at CoffeeGeek: It simply cannot be bought. Vendors, "partners", "friends" of the website will not get favourable press on our website just because they advertise with us. If they do seriously good products or services, and the reporting on those products and.or services is newsworthy, we'll report it. But if the company has issues or has a lackluster product, we'll report on that too.

Basically, a core foundation of CoffeeGeek is that our editorial direction and focus will be not be influenced in any way positive or negative by who advertises with us. Your trust in what we cover and how we run the website is one of the most valuable things we have at CoffeeGeek, and we would do nothing to change that. Far too many influencer websites, from technology websites, to photography and audio websites, and yes, even to coffee websites are playing this game with your trust, and it's not a game we'll ever play.

Sponsored Content
That said, I've been mulling a decision for a few months now. I have in the works some fantastic educational content for CoffeeGeek and I have people willing to do world class photography and writing for that content. I want to make sure they are compensated well for their work, but because CoffeeGeek has never been about making us rich -- we won't get rich if we don't pander to advertisers more -- we've had to come up with a creative way to pay for that content.

What I've come up with is this - we will find some sponsors for selective content on CoffeeGeek - but there must be absolutely no possibility you the reader will think that sponsor in any way influenced the content.

This means cherry picking a sponsor who doesn't have any direct skin in the game, as it were. If we're demonstrating grinder cleaning techniques, we wouldn't choose Baratza, for example. If we're demonstrating a how to on espresso shot pulls, we wouldn't pick Rancilio or Breville.

We also have to be very careful about what kind of content we want to have sponsored. I don't want *any* 100% editorial/news/opinion/reviews content to ever be sponsored. We did this once in a past (for a European trip we needed to finance) and I don't think I want to do that again (though I'll never say never for exceptional circumstances).

So if our news, opinion and reviews content is a no-fly zone for any kind of sponsorship, that leaves us with our educational content. I've agonized over this, and have come to a decision to try it on a trial basis.

We have three new how tos lined up by a fantastic photographer and barista trainer. And these three how-tos will be sponsored by a fantastic company. I can guarantee you that the sponsor has no influence or editorial control at all over the how tos, and that our contributors are going to be well compensated for their work.

I hope you enjoy the forthcoming content, and I'd like to express my appreciation to this content sponsor for working within our tight ethical boundaries.

Mark Prince

CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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Senior Member
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,083
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
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Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Jun 20, 2014, 1:56am
Subject: Re: Slight Change to CoffeeGeek's Editorial Policy

IMHO sponsorship for selected content is perfectly alright as long as it is made clear who sponsored what. And there should be no conflict of interest.

"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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