Shutting Down the Washington Post Book World?
At the National Book Critics Circle blog Critical Mass, Eric Banks passes along word that "a reliable source at the Washington Post passes along the scary word that among the budgetary recommendations new editor Marcus Brauchli is making to his board is the elimination of Book World."
I heard the same thing via a prominent young American historian just before seeing this.
Once again ... Members of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) ought to contact Brauchli to let him know that this is not acceptable.
The idea that such changes have anything to do with a lack of advertising by book publishers is nonsense. Is a sports section funded by advertising from the teams it covers?
UPDATE: Brauchli tells Critical Mass, "We are absolutely committed to book reviews and coverage of literature, publishing and ideas in The Post. Our readership has a huge interest in these areas."
But please note what he does not say -- that Book World is safe and its future secure. This is pretty basic "we are deeply committed to doing whatever it is we are supposed to be deeply committed to doing" language that would be used even if coverage were reduced to printing stuff off the wire.
Politico reports: "High-level discussions about ending Book World have indeed taken place, according to a Post source with knowledge of the talks. However, no final decision has been made."
"We heard all that 'we are deeply committed...' talk right up until the very day that we found out the plug was being pulled...The way we found that WaPo radio would be no more was by way of a Paul Farhi column in the Post (May or June of '07). Yup, we were kept completely in the dark about things until we read about it in the Post."
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