Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"A Philistine blunder": the LA Times Book Review is no more


Hard to preface this with anything other than...well, this sucks. Served up lukewarm in Publishers Lunch today is a letter by former LA Times Book Review editors Steve Wasserman, Sonja Bolle, Digby Diehl, and Jack Miles responding to the news that the Los Angeles Times is folding its standalone Sunday book review section, laying off two dedicated book editors, and shlumping book reviews in with the Calendar section.

The letter asserts that without the review section, the LA Times Festival of Books will be "a hollow joke" and goes on to say:
To be sure, no section of any newspaper can remain hostage to past ways of covering the news of the day. We are convinced, however, that the way forward is to increase coverage of our literary culture -- a culture that every day is more vibrant and diverse in the thriving megalopolis of Los Angeles.

Angelenos in growing number are already choosing to cancel their subscriptions to the Sunday Times. The elimination of the Book Review, a philistine blunder that insults the cultural ambition of the city and the region, will only accelerate this process and further wound the long-term fiscal health of the newspaper.

We urge readers and writers alike to join with us as we protest this sad and backward step.

Click here to read the entire letter and post comments.

(Ow. My head...)

No comments:

We welcome payola in the form of pies, cakes, neatly folded laundry and free books!

In accordance with FTC regulations, we're required to inform readers that we receive books from publishers, authors, and PR folk for review. We'd like to receive money via an offshore bank account, but that hasn't happened yet. When my dad was in radio back in the '50s, a local baker used to sneak over in the dead of night and fill the back seat of his car with bread and pastries. We would NOT object to this. Please review our review policy here. And let us know if we should leave the car outside the garage tonight.

Peace, love, and statutory compliance ~
Joni