I’m not actually suggesting anything shady is going on here, because I don’t want to be sued, but it do wonder what happens when the needs of a newspaper’s advertisers are at odds with the content.
Amazon has a great link to the 100 most notable books of the year as judged by the New York Times, and I’m sure that they’re all worthy books. I certainly don’t see any preference given to a specific publisher, although it is weighted heavily toward big publishers, the kind that would buy advertising in the New York Times, so it makes me wonder if the reviewers are ever pressured. Does an editor come up to one of the reviewers and say something like, “Thank God for advertisers. Sales have been so bad this year that if it weren’t for them we’d all be looking for work.”
Far fetched, I know, and I’m sure the paper goes to great lengths to develop processes to prevent that kind of bias. But as old print newspapers get more desperate, strange things could happen.
But like I said, I’m sure they’re all great books.
H/T to Fogel for the link.