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Weekly News Digest

May 4, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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'What Does Book Publishing Stand For?' by Alex Shephard

Alex Shephard writes the following for The New Republic:

Speaking to PEN America in 2018, then, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy [said], ‘It is all the more important to reassert our core belief that free speech, the actual discussion and debate of ideas is … the right of every citizen in our society.… When it comes to the right of unfettered discourse we should not, we cannot, accept dissent-quashing tyranny from any side of the political spectrum.’

But even as Reidy was speaking those words, this story was already fraying. In the background was the backlash that followed Simon & Schuster’s brief, disastrous dalliance with Milo Yiannapoulos. In 2021, with staff revolts in response to Simon & Schuster’s signing of Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway to multimillion-dollar deals—and general angst about publishing former Trump administration officials—the story has collapsed altogether. …

There may be an ideological component to publishing Pence and Conway, but it has nothing to do with ideas. It has to do with fetishizing ideological diversity, in which publishing garbage books from prominent Republicans is an end in and of itself. These deals only underline what’s been increasingly obvious for decades now: The commitment to free speech and intellectual diversity is a fig leaf, held up to defend often dubious decisions that are rooted in financial concerns, rather than intellectual or moral ones. If you are building a case for ‘ideological diversity’ and are basing it on books by Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, you have already lost.

For more information, read the article.



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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