Reviewing the review


A review seems to be quite a complicated matter. Reading magazines almost all my life I have come to think of it as an easier task than that of writing a news story (not that I’m saying writing a news story is easier than writing a review). But I have come to notice that a lot of thought and research goes into actually putting a review together.

Take Brent Meerman’s ‘body of work’, he doesn’t simply go to a restaurant and say whether their food is good or bad or that their floors are dirty and unhygienic. The first review I read illustrates his passions for his career in writing restaurant reviews. He not only writes restaurant reviews but he is also a good cultural feature writer.

His reviews are way more than just giving his opinion on how the food tastes. He delves on the history of the various cuisine within our country in one of his reviews. I’ve noticed that this is also what makes his writing unique and how it keeps to the strict review writing code. His opinions are constructive and well informed; which is a result of the research he does to make sure he has gotten his facts straight. Yet I also saw in the review where he sort of advertised a 5 course meal from his “friend’s” restaurant. One would maybe notice some bias in it. This could constitute bad review writing because the owner being his friend could have clouded his judgement when he wrote the review.

A review shows one another side of the normal journalist; not the journalist that chases news all the time (though reviewing a restaurant or a movie could also be seen as news). Even though these reviews are like that of the traditional journalistic stories, one still has to be objective in the writing of the review, produce facts to the potential consumer who would like to visit that specific restaurant or watch that specific movie. That truth factor has to be there as well.

A review could also be seen as an article, but within a different structure. Still following the principle of the 5 w’s (who, what, where, when, why) and the h (how), but in another format.

Reviewing frees one from the basic life of a journalist, it seems way more exciting and is the type of journalism-writing field that I see myself in.