Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ The Necessity of Book Reviews

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Traditional media loves books and book reviews. The CBC has entire programs devoted to them. Look at any academic profiled by media or invited to comment and they have just published a book. The same sentiment is expressed in this article. "Book reviews, whether of trade or scholarly publications, serve a necessary function of assessment in the marketplace." But do they, though? They ignore most people and focus only on those who have signed deals with publishers. I'm always challenging people who do podcasts or host radio shows or whatever to do some digging on their own rather than waiting for the next press release. But if there's anything these shows and interviews and reviews have in common, it's this: free advertising for commercial publishers. I'm sure no small number of them are thinking to themselves that a commercial book is the only route to the sort of publicity publishers generate for their product. I see no sign of this changing. Which is too bad.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 03:07 a.m.

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