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Beginning this year (for the 2011 award season), if you write about food, whether it comes out in print or pixels, the James Beard Foundation will recognize you in the same way. So say you write a magnum opus of a review about Rick Bayless on your food blog, you will be judged with your peers across the spectrum of writers regardless of medium.
This means that the playing field between online-only jounalism and the print press has been leveled. Gone are categories like "Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs". That one will now just be called "Food-related Feature".
The changes for The James Beard Foundation Awards, the Oscars of the food world, undoubtedly reflect a time when some traditional outlets like Gourmet Magazine no longer exist and the shift to online food journalism continues.