Tuesday, April 24, 2007

National Book Critics Circle Launches Campaign to Save Book Reviews

National Book Critics Circle Launches Campaign to Save Book Reviews
April 23, 2007
For immediate release

Last week, the Los Angeles Times folded its book review section into
an opinion section, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution eliminated
its book review position. Not a good week for book criticism, but not
a surprising one, either: in the past few years, newspapers from the
Chicago Tribune to the Dallas Morning News to the Village Voice have
seen book coverage shrink.

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) is not taking these
developments lying down. This week, in an effort to support book
reviews, book editors, book pages, and book culture, the NBCC is
launching a Campaign to Save Book Reviews. During the last week in
April and throughout the month of May, the NBCC is asking authors and
editors, journalists and publishers˜and in fact anyone interested in
literary culture˜to speak out on the value of books and book

The campaign‚s launch pad is an effort to save the book review
position at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, held until last week by
Teresa Wright. Explains NBCC president John Freeman, „Teresa has the
opportunity to apply for a job within the company, but it's not clear
what the fate of the book page will be˜whether it'll be reassigned to
an existing editor, whether it will go entirely to wire copy, or
whether it will be removed altogether.‰ A petition to save Wright‚s
job has already secured nearly a thousand signatures, including those
from luminaries as varied as Michael Connelly, Richard Powers, and Ian
Rankin. Those interested in signing should go to

Throughout the campaign, Critical Mass, the NBCC‚s blog, will feature
Q&As, posts by concerned writers, and advice on petitioning the media
to assure continued book coverage. Current posts include a lengthy Q&A
with David L. Ulin, editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Check
out http://bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com/ to join in our efforts and
to track developments in this ongoing and important campaign.

The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt organization consisting of nearly 700 active book reviewers
nationwide who are interested in honoring quality writing and
communicating with one another about common concerns. It is managed by
a 24-member all-volunteer board of directors. For more information,
please go to www.bookcritics.org.

For questions, contact Barbara Hoffert, hoffer@reedbusiness.com or


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