aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

The demise of the newspaper book review

Even my own paper, the Oregonian (and I'm a freelance reviewer for it) is doing fewer and fewer reviews.

I saw this news last week and it made me sad. The Dallas Morning News has reviewed several of my books. It always felt cool that I was being reviewed in a state I've never been in.

If newspapers are losing to the Internet (and they are), this isn't the way to gain back readership. Although some of the reasons they are losing have little to do with their content. For example, single copy sales of the Sunday paper are dropping as people turn to the Internet to hunt for cars and houses. In that case, they weren't buying the paper to read, or at least not primarily.

===

Longtime Dallas Morning News book critic Jerome Weeks reports that both he and books editor Charles Ealy have accepted the paper's buyout offer. Management at owners Belo Corp. announced a plan to eliminate "at least 85" editorial jobs in June.

Weeks indicates that "there are currently no plans to replace" either book staffer with any full-time employee. The changes will be felt throughout the paper's arts section: Also leaving under the offer by mid-September are the movie critics, TV critics, food critic, "and even the arts editor himself." Weeks observes, "We will go from one of the best-staffed cultural departments in the country for a paper our size to one of the flimsiest."



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