Bucking the trend of ever-declining books coverage, The Wall Street Journal will launch its first-ever book review section in the coming weeks. According to The New York Observer, which broke the news, the standalone section will be headed by former Atlantic editor Robert Messenger. From the Observer:
Book sections in newspapers have been killed left and right over the last few years. The Washington Post cut its standalone book section last year, The Chicago Tribune did it the year before, and the L.A. Times did it the year before that. There have been a lot of obituaries written in honor of book sections over the last few years, all lamenting a dying art in a printed newspaper that Rupert Murdoch ” naturally ” will now stubbornly try to revive.
Book lovers, writers, and industry professionals will certainly welcome the news of more ink being spilled on books. But one wonders what took the Journal so long: Murdoch, of course, is not only a maverick newspaper baron “ his NewsCorp also owns HarperCollins.