Mon 3 August 2020
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Guardian Open thread: Do we still need professional critics?
Following on from this weekend's consideration of the status of criticism in the social media age, we'd really like you to contribute to a podcast on the subject

On this week's books podcast we are going to be discussing the role of professional book critics. Ahead of recording on Thursday morning, we would like to know what you think and we will include the best comments in this week's podcast.

In last week's New Review, Neal Gabler asked if the age of the critic is over now everyone is able to broadcast their thoughts via blogs, Facebook and Twitter, but what do you think?

Do you think literary critics have any value in the age of social networking?
Are there any critics you trust? What are your other trusted sources of book information? Websites? Friends? Blogs?

In response to Gabler's article, Jessa Crispin, editor-in-chief of Bookslut, wrote: "The same few dozen books might be reviewed in every print publication but meanwhile hundreds of thousands are published every year. In literary criticism there are huge gaps in what gets written about in print: books by women, translated fiction, comic books, books released by small presses, science fiction … Online, though, every niche has its community of producers, critics, and readers, and it's fed by passion and dedication." Do you agree? Please let us know before 9am on Thursday 3 February.

You can either leave your comment in the thread below, or as an audio clip via Audioboo (instructions below).

If you have any problems sending us an Audioboo clip, please contact Hannah (

Audioboo instructions:

1. Go to the Audioboo box lower down on this page. If you prefer, record or submit your message to our stream on Audioboo. You can do this via a web browser, iPhone or Android phone app. Speak clearly so we can hear it*

2. Click on Start recording/upload file. You'll be asked to sign up. You can do this with a Twitter account or sign up for an Audioboo account. If you already have an Audioboo account, just log in

3. To record a message click on Got your mic ready? Alternatively, you can send us an audio file by clicking on Rather upload a file? and then using Select a file to locate and upload it

4. Once you've recorded or uploaded your message give it a title and include your name if you wish to be credited.

* To get the best recording, find a quiet room, try not to speak too fast, nor too slowly, and if possible, try to keep your comment to under one minute long. We will pick the best comments to include in the books podcast which will be available on the books site, from this Friday (4 February).

For more details

The Guardian

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Organisation: The Guardian