Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cherchez le Journalism?--veinglory

Spice is being rolled out by Mills & Boon in the UK. So I guess this suggests it is considered a success in the US and will likely be with us for some time to come.

The media reaction was to reprint press releases pretty much word for word (see here, here, etc) as if they had written them--sometime going to the trouble of throwing in a smart-ass title, the word "pornography" or 'hardcore", a few of their favorite derogatory adjectives, or a picture of something considered vaguely titilating but not shocking (see right). I notice some pretty large blocks of text recurring with attribution... I guess it isn't plagiarim to use a press release but it does look rather more like cutting and pasting than journalism as I idealistically imagine it.

Here is a selection of the innanities thrown in to embroider the press release, in the place of actual research or informed commentary:

"It's official: romance is dead."
...and erotica killed it?

"Mills and Boon - famous for its gentle romance tales of lantern-jawed heroes and fleeing beauties" -- Ha ha.

"...feminine ladies kissing manly men on faraway islands" Yeah, okay

"bosses and secretaries, sailors, soldiers and policemen, mysterious dark strangers and pliable females melting at the touch of their lips" -- Have mercy. No, seriously. Stop.

As one online commenter said: "Absolute tosh". They don't seem to be trying very hard as journos, and by the look of this they wouldn't make it far as romance writers either.

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