The Asheville Performing Arts Reviews blog, voted third best blog in Western North Carolina by Xpress readers in 2006, has received international attention from The Guardian, a British newspaper based in London.
The blog, “Asheville Performing Arts Reviews,” looks to the public for feedback on local theater productions, welcoming “anyone with an opinion to write a review of a show they have seen,” as stated on their Web site. When a negative review was posted anonymously on the blog, the topic of conversation moved from the performing arts to a matter of ethics.
“Noises off: Unnamed and Unashamed,” an article published on April 24 by The Guardian, focuses on the “ethics of anonymity” and the controversy of publishing a review without identifying the name of the blogger.
The debate that began by bloggers here in Asheville raises a question that relates to all online publications, provoking what The Guardian describes as “a fair degree of soul-searching on behalf of the blog itself.”
The debate continues and the question remains: Must every blogger stand by his or her words?