There’s an interesting piece on the January magazine blog about how the ongoing massacres at traditional newspapers are affecting the way publishers hawk shill promote talk about their books. The piece argues “ correctly, in our view “ that publishers and booksellers rushing in to fill the content vacuum left by depleted news coverage in traditional media (read: newspapers) can’t possibly take the same unbiased approach to book coverage as an independent journalist:
You cannot expect self-interested parties “ publishers, booksellers, even authors “ to disseminate unbiased stories about themselves and those they represent. It just doesn’t work that way. And yet, as traditional media fail, that’s exactly what we are increasingly seeing.
The article cites the Barnes & Noble Review and Penguin U.S.’s recent foray into “online programming” as examples of the “mad blurring” that results from “a kind of desperate clutching for something that makes sense when held against traditional standards of doing things.”
Now, before the comments section gets flooded, Quillblog will point out the obvious bias in linking to an article that supports traditional journalism when it comes to book coverage. And we will grant that in the incestuous world of Canadian publishing, finding a completely unbiased commentator is tantamount to finding a nun in a strip club. Nevertheless, we applaud the spirit behind January‘s argument. (Oh, wait: they’re biased too? Never mind.)