A Newspaper Expands Book Coverage While Yet Another One Cuts It Back

by Staff

In an editorial published in last Sunday's edition of the Times-Picayune, a daily newspaper in New Orleans, the editors wrote, "In the past year, newspapers across the country have made dramatic cutbacks in their coverage of books," and went on to announce that on January 11 the newspaper will debut "The Reading Life," an expanded package of book reviews and coverage of the New Orleans literary scene in the Living section each Friday. "Our expanded books coverage is built on a belief that a great many of our readers have a rich and varied reading life, beyond the newspaper, and while some national statistics seem to suggest that reading is on the decline, others make a different case."

Meanwhile, Teresa Budasi, the books editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, recently cast her newspaper's lot on the former rather than the latter opinion. On December 23, she likened the economic climate of the news business to Dr. Seuss's Grinch and announced that the Books section of the newspaper would no longer exist. "Times are tough nationwide in this industry and here at the Sun-Times it's no different," Budasi wrote. The newspaper's coverage of books moved to a smaller space in the Sunday Show section, where it's grouped with music, movies, theater, art, and pop culture. "Here's hoping our Grinch's heart grows a little larger in the coming year and we get all of our space back someday," she concluded.