Writing Guidelines and Code of Ethics

The guidelines and Code of Ethics presented here apply to all writers, editors and staff at Epicurus without regards to position, duration of employment, gender or any other classification, status or condition.

Writers seeking a position with Epicurus should apply through our Career Center.

Since 1996, Epicurus.com has grown into one of the top 10 food and travel sites. Restaurant Report Magazine rates Epicurus.com tied with Food TV Network and Foodservice.com.

We are seeking contributing writers with great articles on food, wine, spirits, travel and living. Specific areas of interest are gardens, dining, restaurants, crafts, recipes, cuisine, international and domestic travel and professional foodservice and hospitality features. Join our team of great writers and food celebrities such as Laurie Burrows Grad, The Earl of Bradford and David Rosengarten by applying now.

Contributor Information

EPICURUS now in its 16th year of providing articles and photos about fascinating foods and destinations throughout the world. Potential writers for the website should understand, first and foremost, that our audience is made up of upscale, sophisticated and experienced gourmands and travelers: Our research indicates that they visit the destinations we write about repeatedly and cook the recipes we provide routinely. Therefore, our readers look to EPICURUS to guide them to the new and interesting places to visit, to explore the many facets of exquisite cuisine and to highlight the fascinating chefs and hoteliers of the world.

The editors of EPICURUS are always open to ideas from writers. Our only requirements are that the writing be superb, the subject be something original, unusual and interesting, and the writer must know his/her subject. To understand what kind of stories we publish, read the websites. We do NOT run generalized travelogues, guidebook-like profiles or stories about well-known, over-publicized or commonly visited places. Our readers demand behind-the-scenes stories, off-the-beaten-path destinations and ahead-of-the-curve knowledge about the destination or the cuisine.

Most of the major features in EPICURUS are assigned to staff or to writers with whose work we are familiar. New writers will have better success starting off in one of our departments. Always keep in mind that the availability of good photographs to illustrate a story is essential.

Writer’s Code of Ethics

Principle I

Epicurus writers and editors are professional travel communicators and should always strive to maintain the highest professional standards.

Rules:

  • Writers and editors shall not engage in plagiarism or infringement of the rights, including copyright, of others.
  • No writer or editor shall publish information about a destination about which he or she has no first-hand knowledge unless the writer or editor uses reliable sources of information.
  • No writer or editor shall misrepresent his or her employment, category or status.
  • No writer or editor shall falsely represent his or her credentials or work output as part of any Epicurus review or listing.
  • No writer or editor shall use the Epicurus name, logo or insignia except to designate his or her position, and no writer or editor may use official Epicurus stationery except for the conduct of official business of the Company or its Websites.
  • Writers and editors shall not engage in conduct that embarrasses the websites or the Company or that will otherwise harm its reputation or professionalism.

Principle II

Epicurus writers and editors should conduct business in a professional manner.

Rules:

  • No writer or editor shall knowingly sell rights that he or she does not own.
  • No writer or editor shall permit his or her byline to appear as sole author on work not produced by him or her, nor shall a writer or editor be listed as co-author of a work to which he or she has not contributed.
  • When photographs or editorial materials have been furnished by others, a writer or editor shall so advise the publisher, providing the source, name and contact information of the contributing party and creator of such materials.
  • No writer or editor shall deliberately misrepresent his or her participation in a press trip in order to secure an editorial assignment.
  • Associate Writers and editors shall not accept nor pay money for acquiring new accounts, except for proposal fees, and shall not offer cash or any other form of payment to editors or writers in exchange for editorial coverage purporting to be objective unbiased reporting of information.

Principle III

Epicurus writers and editors should maintain the highest standards of professionalism on press trips.

Rules:

  • No writer or editor shall deliberately misrepresent the status of an assignment in order to secure participation in a press trip.
  • All assistants accompanying a writer or editor on a press trip shall be fully qualified assistants; all others accompanying a writer or editor must be identified as guests. The participation of guests on press trips is subject to the restrictions of the host and at no time shall a guest attend in place of a writer or editor. Epicurus shall not pay for nor be held liable for the cost of a writer or editor’s guest on any trip.
  • A writer or editor shall personally pay for all services required by that writer or editor that are personal, or over and above the services voluntarily provided by the host.

Principle IV

Epicurus writers and editors should avoid all conflicts of interest.

Rules:

  • No writer or editor shall accept payment or courtesies in exchange for an agreement to produce favorable material about a travel destination, service or supplier that is contrary to his or her own professional appraisal.
  • Writers and editors who are or have been employed by or associated with a travel destination, service firm or supplier shall disclose that fact to all potential editors and/or publishers prior to accepting an assignment relating to that destination or involving that service firm or supplier.

Procedures

As provided in the Procedures section below, the Company shall discipline writers and editors found guilty of violations of the Epicurus Ethics Code, as well as for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Company.

  • Complaints of suspected violations of any rule of the Epicurus Code of Ethics must be made in writing, signed by the complainant(s), and sent to the Company’s Executive Vice President at the Company’s headquarters office.
  • The Executive Vice President will immediately forward copies of the complaint to the managing editor of the publication and the President and the Chairman.
  • The Ethics Committee will promptly investigate all complaints forwarded to it and, within 30 days, shall determine if the complaint shall be dismissed, investigated further, or set for a hearing.
  • If the complaint is dismissed, the Ethics Committee will notify the complainant(s) and the President of the committee’s decision, which shall be final.
  • If the Ethics Committee determines that the complaint should be investigated further, the committee shall notify the writer or editor of the complaint and by whom it was made, and advise him or her of the right to present evidence relating to the complaint. The Ethics Committee may interview by telephone, by mail, or in person, either Writers and editors or others who have information relevant to the complaint.
  • If the Ethics Committee determines after further investigation that a violation has occurred for which a reprimand is appropriate, the committee shall prepare a written report detailing its finding of the facts, the nature of the misconduct so established, and the form of the reprimand imposed; a copy of the report will be sent to the charged party, the complainant(s), the President and the Chairman. The decision of the Ethics Committee shall be final unless appealed by the charged party to the Executive Committee within 30 days of the decision; the request for an appeal must be made within that time frame by certified mail to the President at the Company’s headquarters office.
  • If the Ethics Committee determines after further investigation that a violation has occurred for which suspension or termination of employment may be appropriate, the Ethics Committee shall hold a hearing by telephone conference call or at a location mutually convenient for all parties. Notice shall be given to the charged party, the complainant(s), and the President at least 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing. The charged party may appear with counsel at his or her own expense. The Chairman of the Board of Directors shall preside over the hearing, which shall be conducted in an informal manner, with or without the presence of Epicurus’ legal counsel. At the option of the charged party, a hearing may be waived and the complaint resolved by documents submitted in response by both the charged party and the complainant(s). After the conclusion of the hearing, the full committee shall decide by four-fifths vote to suspend or terminate the employment of the charged writer or editor. The decision of the Ethics Committee shall be final unless appealed by the charged party to the Executive Committee within 30 days of notice of the decision; the request for an appeal must be made within that time frame by certified mail to the President at the Company’s headquarters office.
  • Upon any appeal filed by a charged party subject to reprimand, suspension or termination, the Executive Committee shall hold a hearing by telephone conference call or at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors. The charged party may appear at the appeal hearing with counsel at his or her own expense. The President shall preside over the appeal hearing, which shall be conducted in an informal manner, with or without the presence of Epicurus’ legal counsel. At the option of the charged party, an appeal hearing may be waived and the appeal resolved by documents submitted in response by both the charged party and the complainant. After the conclusion of the hearing, the full committee shall decide by four-fifths vote (with the President not voting) to uphold or reverse the decision of the Ethics Committee.
  • All proceedings of the Ethics Committee and all appeal proceedings of the Executive Committee shall be held in closed sessions, unless open sessions are requested by the charged party. All evidence submitted to either committee shall be maintained in the strictest of confidence.
  • A suspension may be imposed for any definite period of time. At the conclusion of the suspension period, no formal action is required for reinstatement of employment. A writer or editor who is terminated cannot be reinstated or reapply for employment.

For additional information, please refer to our Writer’s Guidelines.

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