A call for honesty in publicity editing of reviews

We’ve all heard stories about how movie companies pick out just a few words from review that seem to lavishly praise their films (God bless the ellipse). In that light, I saw this post on Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf regarding the selective use of reviews when it comes to promoting your product, in this case the new Mantle biography by Jane Leavy. Seems the review said one thing and the publisher’s pub dept. choose to truncate the qualifying phrases just enough to make an 1990 novel by Leavy seem like the greatest thing since sliced light bulbs.

Look, we all know that the job of the publicity people is to put the best face on the authors and the books, and certainly you can’t count on someone to do the legwork to refute your claims, but come on, people, have some self-respect. If the book is good, it’s good. I find most of my reading comes from word of mouth anyway. Even if I read a bad review, nine times out of tell I’ll read the book anyway if it’s about a subject or from  author author I like.




Soapbox: “Up against the (pay) wall!”

Any researcher who has found a newspaper story via a search engine knows the frustration of receiving a message that the article is for paying subscribers only. So I don’t know what the big deal is about more publications taking this route.

I do know that the technological/ knowledge  divide is getting wider and wider. We live in a town that’s very diverse, socioeconomically speaking. And while many families are fortunate to have home computers, others are not. So when my kid comes home and does a lovely job composing attractive reports, full of charts and illustrations, will she have an advantage over someone who has limited access at a public facility, such as a library or in the school itself?

Anyway, here are a couple of pieces I came across that discuss the encroachment of the whole pay-for-play (in this case, read) issue.

  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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