Motoko Rich

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

"As teenagers' scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading-diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books," writes Motoko Rich in The New York Times. "But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount."

I believe this so-called "new kind of reading" is the result of the old kind of writing, which has become really bad.

I'm talking about the writing in mainstream media-newspapers, magazines and books-whose managements are so financially strapped that they can't afford decent editors. The result: Authors left to themselves are sloppy, self-indulgent and frequently boring as dirt.

This is also true of writing on the Internet and BlackBerrys/other mobile devices.

No industry in the world is so completely peopled with whiners: * Book publishers whine because they are forced to eat 35% of the products they send out in the form of hugely expensive returns. * Authors whine because publishers don’t promote their books. * Book publishers and authors whine because newspapers do not review their books. *Newspapers whine because book publishers are putting their advertising dollars elsewhere, so, in retaliation, they drastically cut the number of reviews they carry. *Book critics whine because with fewer and fewer venues for their work, they are deprived of places to show off how much smarter

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