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ERIC Number: ED361820
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Books as Culture/Books as Commerce: An Analysis of the Text and Format of the "New York Times Book Review."
Haugland, Ann
The oldest of the mass communication technologies, books, needs to be examined in mass communication research. Accordingly a study analyzed the structure and format of the "New York Times Book Review" to identify its dual roles: evaluating books and providing information crucial to book marketing. Also explored was how the text of the book review reflected the tension between cultural responsibility and commercial necessity. Fifty-two issues of the "New York Times Book Review" published in 1990 were content analyzed. Results indicated that: (1) overall, space was allocated roughly equally between editorial content (52%) and advertising (48%); (2) two "round-up" issues ("Summer Reading" and "Christmas Books") meshed with the commercial publishing timetable; (3) 10 of the 14 best-selling books of 1990 were reviewed, and 12 of the 14 were advertised from 1 to 3 times; and (4) best-selling books received significantly more coverage in ads and on the bestseller lists than did the Editors' Choice books, and Editors' Choice books received significantly more coverage in reviews and other editorial features than did the best-selling books. Findings suggest that the text of the "New York Times Book Review," as a cultural intermediary, reflects the culture/commerce distinction that works to define new books as either legitimate culture or mass market commodities, and by associating some books with its commercial role and some with its cultural role, the text of the "New York Times Book Review" helps to maintain the artificial distinctions that separate high and popular culture. (Two tables of data and 31 notes are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A