Hard numbers

16,502 Number of readers who always check out The Lower Case when CJR arrives.
16,502 Number of readers who discovered The Lower Case missing from usual place and thought (or shouted) WTF?
16,502 Number of readers who considered canceling their subscription unless CJR editors offer a reasonable and timely explanation for deleting the Lower Case page.
123 Number of readers satisfied with paltry number of Lower Case items in new location.
4 Number of readers pleased that the Lower Case page deleted (all Republicans).

Burt Dragin
Professor of Journalism
Laney College
Oakland, CA

The editors respond: A trawl through the CJR archive reveals that at times the Lower Case has run at a half-page—and we often strain to fill a full page. Thus, we decided to try peppering the items, Burma Shave-style, throughout the March/April feature well. In this issue, the items are reunited (page 13). If you’d like to see more space devoted to Lower Case, please help with submissions! Send bonehead heds to cjr@columbia.edu or to cjr, 201 Journalism Building, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.

Brought to book

In “The Girl Who Loved Journalists” (CJR, January/February), Eric Alterman, bemoaning the loss of book-review sections in US newspapers, neglected to mention the new eight-page book-review section in the Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal, which started publication in the fall of 2010.

As one of the leading critics of Rupert Murdoch’s purchase in 2007 of Dow Jones and the WSJ, I must give great credit to Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones, for his decision, unique in today’s shrinking newspaper world, to heavily invest in eight pages every Saturday of some of the best-written book reviews published anywhere in the US today.

Friends in the New York City book-publishing industry tell me the WSJ’s new book-review section is highly respected and very helpful for launching new books because it is read all over the country.

Competition with The New York Times may have inspired the new WSJ book-review section, but it is a major, positive contribution to US book publishing and intellectual life. It should be celebrated by a CJR Laurel and not ignored.

Jim Ottaway Jr.
Retired director and senior VP of Dow Jones
Past member of CJR’s Board of Overseers
New York, NY

Correction

In “Only connect” by Alec MacGillis about reporter Connie Schultz (CJR, March/April), we wrote in a caption for a photo of Michael Green that “Schultz’s articles helped set him free” from prison. However, Schultz’s series did not lead to Green’s exoneration. She chronicled his ordeal, but only after the Innocence Project and his stepfather worked to free him. The week after Schultz’s series ran, the real rapist confessed to the crime, 14 years after Green was convicted. The rapist served five years in prison.

 

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