Sunday, February 03, 2013

Globe and Mail Cuts Book Section

A recent article in reported that the Globe and Mail is slashing its books section. In fact, the two literary editors are leaving their posts and apparently no one will be taking their place. One of the editors said that a huge drop in ads is partly to blame, while his colleague maintains that the paper now seems to prefer celebrity gossip to literary criticism. If this is true, then that is a sad state of affairs. Where do readers who appreciate reviews and great books go to read about the latest publications? Please don’t tell me there aren’t any readers like that around because I personally know several.

What’s happening at the Globe and Mail isn’t unique, as many major newspapers have slashed their books section, probably for similar reasons. Also, as I’ve said before, more readers prefer reading reviews online, which is fine. The problem is that our choices are being cut. The mystery writing community has already seen reviewers’ columns slashed over recent years. Now, I’m wondering if the Globe’s best known crime fiction reviewer, Margaret Cannon, will also lose her longstanding, popular column.

Most disturbing is the sense that newspapers are slowly transforming into celebrity gossip rags to stay alive. Losing the books section wouldn’t trouble me so much if the papers were exchanging literary criticism for serious news. After all, there are plenty of important events going on in the world that deserve more attention. If celebrity stories are grabbing even more space than they already have, then the media’s in deeper trouble than I thought. To read the article, go to

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