Atlanta Newspaper Eliminates Book Review Position – Publishers Weekly

Atlanta’s Literary Community Rallies Against Newspaper’s Elimination of Book Review Editor Position – 4/19/2007 9:32:00 AM – Publishers Weekly

So the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently eliminated their Book Review Editor. They claim that the section itself isn’t going away, just the position as it had been for years. The new position would manage the book reviews section, which will be populated by wire feeds and other sources.

So why is this a bad idea? Well, those wire services wouldn’t have a local slant for one. In a city and paper that gave rise to Margaret Mitchell, Lewis Grizzard and so many others, to a state that has a plethora of notable writers all across the spectrum, this can only be seen as a blow to the literary community. And yes, there is a literary community here. Atlanta is #15 on a list of most literate cities ahead of New York, Charleston, Miami, and many others. Last year, in this report, we made #3.

Granted, romance books weren’t even a gleam in this book editor’s eye, for the most part. But if headway had been made before, that forward motion has been stymied now. National feeds will only forward news of national interest, so only those big blockbuster books will get mentioned on the Books page going forward. Discovering a hometown gem will be rendered impossible.

This from a paper who is the primary sponsor of the Decatur Book Festival Labor Day weekend.

There is a petition online that you can add your name to, brought to you by the folks at the National Book Critics Circle. You can read the petition and add your name by clicking here.

More info:


Critical Mass National Book Critics Circle blog