I was really glad to see Jennifer Weiner follow up on this 2010 revelation. You can read the whole article here
The basic run down is this: back in the summer of 2010 Ms. Weiner and several other female writers lifted the veil on the inequality (male vs. female) of the New York Times in their coverage of reviewing books. They did this, I might add, at their own peril. Just like so many whistle blowers who've come before them, they faced a horrific backlash of ire towards female writers. How dare they point out the obvious?
Now in January of 2012 she is looking back on the coverage of 2011. And to no ones surprise the New York Times has barely budged toward equality in their coverage. But bless her heart, she's still there pointing out the obvious. I give Jennifer and the other writers full on kudo's and stand behind them in their pursuit.
So now that they have pointed out the obvious and watched the full year reaction. (which was nominal) What do you do about that? Why keep giving the New York Times book review so much weight? What if everyone said, 'No thanks, I'd rather you didn't print my review'; what if we stopped blurbing them on the back of the books; what if we stopped buying into their book review; what if we stopped getting their newspaper; what if we give our audience an alternative to their reviews. Perhaps start a syndicated column for local newspapers. I'm not talking about The Minneapolis Star Tribune, but the real local: Crawley Hole, California's Pea Pecker Tribune.
The other REAL problem I have is with the reaction to the results reported. The reaction that was ignited back in 2010 said more about, no, it screamed more about the people screaming then the actual numbers reported. Obviously the Times doesn't give a rat's dingy what their content creator's (the female writers who provide them with books to review) think. With their marginal betterment of reviews they are basically saying, 'Shut up and sit down'. These woman who ignited this shit storm reaction weren't asking for 75% of the reviews, they weren't even asking for 55%. But the problem was they were asking and they had numbers to back it up.
Now then, another question we might ask is can women stick together and organize themselves enough to bring about a change? (The Times obviously aren't going to do it.) Can these whistle blowers, whom, make no mistake, I support fully, be pioneers? Now that they've faced the worst, blowing the whistle, can they make the next logical step?