I write reviews for the AJC, which means their section affects people at least as far away as Hawai`i. In a recent study, Atlanta was named the 3rd most literate city. Yet the AJC has eliminated their Book Editor, Teresa Weaver, and the fate of the section is unclear. (Read more about this on the NBCC blog). Eliminating the book editor position, and perhaps the review altogether seems to me a cruel irony:
A newspaper worried about losing readership eliminates the one section that appeals to those who actually read for pleasure, and who are likely to continue to buy the paper.
As newspapers cut costs, help tell them sections that pertain to arts and ideas shouldn’t be sacrificed. Click here or on the title of the post to sign the petition below:
To: The Atlanta Journal Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s recent decision to eliminate its book editor position—and, possibly, its book review section—is demoralizing beyond words. The AJC’s book section is one of the best-edited literary pages in the country. It provides Atlanta, which ranks #15 on the University of Wisconsin’s list of most literate cities in the U.S., with a powerful and necessary cultural dialogue. Under the astute guidance of the section’s editor Teresa Weaver, the books page has demonstrated an admirable commitment to both literature and nonfiction works which have grappled with some of America’s most complicated issues and themes.
Not only has the AJC’s book section helped to champion such important writers as Edward P. Jones, William T. Vollmann, and Colm Toibin, not to mention Paul Hendrickson and Monica Ali—all of whom are now recognized as major literary voices—but it has struck a fine balance by also letting readers know, through in-depth interviews and event listings, about more popular authors who make Atlanta a stop on their book tours. If the major newspaper in a major market like Atlanta lacks a book section, then we may soon be missing authors, too, when publishers decide not to send their writers to a city where the primary forum of ideas and review is ignoring them.
I am a subscriber to and/or a frequent reader of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and I want the AJC to continue publishing a book section edited by Teresa Weaver that gives Atlanta a unique, thoughtful approach to books, one that represents a diverse array of voices, and is not simply fed by wire copy from the Associated Press or the New York Times.