Friday, January 14, 2011

The kidlitosphere is abuzz about a recent bad decision by the Today Show; here's the letter SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver wrote the show's producer about it. (Similar letters have gone to other major news outlets.) (The show broke an 11-year tradition by not interviewing our lauded authors and illustrators this year, and this is an example of SCBWI's increasingly public advocacy on behalf of its members.)
    Dear Editor:

    As the Executive Director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and
    Illustrators, a non-profit international organization of 24,000 professional
    children’s book writers, illustrators, publishers, editors and agents, I have to
    express dismay at the decision this week of NBC’s Today Show not to run the
    traditional interviews with the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.
    The books that are granted these prestigious awards represent the best of what
    we have to offer children---great storytelling, strong values, a legacy of
    literature and hope and high-minded ideals. What they elected to run in that
    spot, an interview with reality star Snooki, represents the exact opposite.

    In choosing not to run the interviews with Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead,
    television has once again underestimated the intelligence of its audience.
    Parents are dying to get their hands on good books for their kids. Booksellers
    are eager to sell and promote good books for kids. It’s good business, good
    broadcasting and good ethics to honor the best books for children.

    Lin Oliver
    Executive Director, SCBWI

No comments: