Dear Madam Editor,
If what you say in your September Editorial about John Thomson is true, you ought to have fallen over backwards to retain his services. If what you say is untrue, you ought not to have written it. Either way, New Zealand Books is the loser.
Exercise in handwringing
New Zealand Books is presumably about books. In recent years a large number have been written by sociologists, economists, historians and political scientists on poverty and attendant problems in our society. Phil Mann’s The Poverty Trap in your September issue alludes to none of them; it is simply an exercise in handwringing.
The Editor of the Otago Daily Times basks in self-congratulation at the expense of his reviewers (New Zealand Books, September 1992). Wasn’t Geoff Adams once a working journalist who considered himself worth his hire? His proud claim that no reviewer has ever complained to him about lack of pay smacks of an ‘it’s okay if you can get away with it’ ethic. The news that, were it not for the generosity of the ODT, review copies might be gracing its library shelves might give publishers the bright idea of invoicing newspapers for them. If so, I suppose we can expect to see the ODT go the whole hog and actually charge reviewers for the honour of appearing on its books page.