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Chronicle Book Review Editor: My Paper’s Still Bigger Than Your Blog

That’s the line of defense San Francisco Chronicle editor Oscar Villalon offers in Motoko Rich‘s recap of the book review crisis: Blogs are “not mass media” and his paper reaches 500,000 customers. The rebuttal to that is obvious, and Mark Sarvas makes it: “I know that everyone who comes to my site is interested in books.” Who, in the absence of market analysis, knows how many of Villalon’s vaunted half-million ever get around to his book reviews? Fortunately, Maud Newton finds the sensible middle ground:

“I find it kind of naive and misguided to be a triumphalist blogger,” Ms. Newton said. “But I also find it kind of silly when people in the print media bash blogs as a general category, because I think the people are doing very, very different things.”

That’s about the size of it.

(Meanwhile, despite never reading a blog, Richard Ford still thinks it’s okay to spit on people who create them, dismissing “some guy sitting in his basement in Terre Haute” in favor of, well, the critics at the New York Times.)

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