Monday, November 26, 2007

"On the Media" discusses the Book Industry

On the Media, a WNYC New York Public Radio program, dedicated its entire show to books which they dubbed One For The Books. The program covered much about the attempts of individuals to move to electronic books and other issues that are of no real consequence to the book industry. They did have a segment that covered the disappearance of book reviews called Vanishing Reviews, but for the most part I found the reporting as lackluster as other reporting on the book industry has been.

It almost seems like the subject of reading is some kind of joke to be laughed at as an inconsequential issue. The disappearances of book reviews from American newspapers, which now effects the elites of American intellectualism, receives little to no coverage, even with the NBCC launching a major campaign to "Save Book Reviews." The On the Media story "Vanishing Reviews" mentioned above is an exception and it should be noted that it was broadcast on a holiday weekend to a fairly limited audience.

No one seems to feel urgency that the crisis in American reading deserves. The reasons for the lack of reading in the US is part: lack of education, part: high prices of books, and part: media consolidation. Each issue is an indicator to the shakiness of our "democracy." Each issue is deserving of deep scrutiny by journalists. Each issue tells us that the American people are not getting the information that they need to make good decisions about their lives. It also tells us that Americans are loosing the ability to scrutinize the information that does come through media sources. It makes us a passive and easily malleable people.

I supposed making the clarion cry for the need that America to be concerned and do something about the crisis in reading is left to me and others on the Internet that understand how serious this issue is.


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