Conservatives and the new media

Since bias in the news seems to be a theme today, let me note this long rambling discussion of conservatives and the media by Brian Anderson over at Opinion Journal. Anderson argues that recent changes in the media landscape have given conservatives the ability to impact public debate and dialogue as never before. He cites cable TV (Fox in particular), the internet, and changes in the publishing world as beggining to break up the the “left’s near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information.”

Since this site focuses on books, I thought it worth noting Anderson’s discussion of changes in the publishing world. He feels that recent changes in publishing are having a big impact on not only the business of publishing but the larger culture:

Nowadays, publishers are falling over themselves to bring conservative books to a mainstream audience. “Between now and December,” Publishers Weekly wrote in July, “scores of books on conservative topics will be published by houses large and small–the most ever produced in a single season. Already, 2003 has been a banner year for such books, with at least one and often two conservative titles hitting PW’s bestseller list each week.” Joining Regnery in releasing mass-market right-leaning books are two new imprints from superpower publishers, Random House’s Crown Forum and an as-yet-untitled Penguin series . . . It’s no exaggeration to describe this surge of conservative publishing as a paradigm shift. “It would have been unthinkable 10 years ago that mainstream publishers would embrace this trend,” acknowledges Doubleday editor and author Adam Bellow, who got his start in editing in 1988 at the Free Press, where he and his boss, the late Erwin Glikes, encountered “a tremendous amount of marketplace and institutional resistance” in pushing conservative titles. “There was no conspiracy,” avers Crown Forum publisher Steve Ross. “We were culturally isolated on this island of Manhattan, and people tend to publish to people of like mind.”

What is interesting is that the internet/new media has basically forced publishers to pay attention. Regnery and others have show that there is a demand for right leaning books while the internet has provided a way for conservative consumers to find books that interest them, discuss and promote those books, and provide feedback to not only other readers but the authors and publishers themselves. The democratization of information and ideas that is going on online is allowing conservative ideas to break out of the media establishment’s stranglehold. This humble blog is one such outlet. The beauty of this blog is that I can discuss and report on whatever books and ideas I choose. I admit mine is a very small voice in the larger discussion but the point is I have a voice. The fact that publishers and authors are willing to communicate with me proves that this small voice is worth something.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

1 Comment

  1. I have been attempting to market the “Charlatan” for 8 years. Like Thomas J. Lorenzo and his book “The Real Lincoln,” it takes an entirely different view of yet another Nineteenth Century icon–this one John C. Fremont.
    What is Crown Forum’s address?

    Sincerely, Chris Burchfield

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