Friday, December 9, 2011

'People are reading more,' says Amazon books editor

As I talk with young journalists, I am often asked about their future since "everyone knows that journalism is dead because people are using the Internet instead of reading," to quote a sophomore in a recent conversation.

Frankly, I think journalism's never been healthier not only because the Internet has opened up so many new forms journalism can take (yes, I'm envious that we didn't have the digital tools when I was reporting), but because the Internet spurs reading, and reading means there is a need for writers. Ergo, journalists.

A Reuters story about the world of books begins with the accurate description: "people are reading more than ever." Sure, the story is mainly about ebooks, but Chris Schluep, senior books editor at Amazon, talks about how the digital universe sparks reading in general as well as breakthroughs in publishing. And when have you ever heard as much about reading and media as you hear these days? Sure, some is bad news (American corporations still don't get it and advertising is moving to cheaper sites), but the Internet has sparked an awareness of reading that we've never had. It's only going to get better.

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