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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Shafer’

Jack Shafer: ‘Everybody Should Be Expecting a Layoff in Hard Times Like These’

Just days after getting laid off by Slate, media critic Jack Shafer shared some tough advice for all the working writers in the audience during an online interview at Poynter.

Check it out: “Everybody should be expecting a layoff in hard times like these … Do you know the play/movie Glengarry Glen Ross? There’s a cliche the boiler-room salesmen in it use: ‘ABC,’ which stands for Always Be Closing. I believe in ABL for journalists: Always Be Looking. No matter how good your job is–and mine was great–you should always be looking for your next gig.”

Shafer (pictured, via) will keep writing for Slate as a freelance contributor. The online magazine laid off a few writers last week and ended their contract with freelance books editor Ann Hulbert. What survival advice do you have for writers struggling to survive in this ongoing recession?

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Jack Shafer Reviews the Wall Street Journal Book Review

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Journalism watchdog Jack Shafer reviewed the inaugural edition of The Wall Street Journal‘s new standalone book review section.

Earlier this month, we linked to a Media Matters report that studied the newspaper’s record of disclosure when reviewing titles from HarperCollins, Fox News affiliates, or other News Corp.-related parties.

Here’s an excerpt, and we’ve added some hyperlinks to help you explore: “‘Review’ has recruited name-brand writers for its first issue. There’s Kwame Anthony Appiah on how to deal with ‘honor killers,’ James Grant on what a terrible economist John Kenneth Galbraith was, a Matt Ridley column on the science of human nature, a Gregg Easterbrook book review, a humor column by Joe Queenan, a “Commerce & Culture” column by Virginia Postrel, and a lead essay about geniuses and tinkering by Steven Johnson. Often, the big names brought in to help start a new publication or revamp an old one are there for their marquee value only and turn in crap copy. Not here.”

Slate Critic Calls for Lower E-Book Prices

front.jpgSlate‘s media critic Jack Shafer challenged publishers in his new column, urging opponents of $9.99 digital books to change their minds before an illegal download site can steal their business.

Shafer argued that Napster was created because customers were unhappy with MP3 prices around the turn of the century, proposing that the advent of iTunes and the 99-cent MP3 saved the music industry. As customers continuing to boycott e-books priced less than $9.99 on the Amazon store, Shafer appears to have a number of digital book buyers who agree with him on prices.

Here’s more from the piece: “Cool devices that make electronic reading painless are just around the corner, and the e-book market is about to explode. If publishers insist on pushing prices too high and curbing availability, consumers could rebel–as they did with the sharing of MP3s–and normalize the trafficking of infringing e-books.”