Yesterday, many a fan of children’s and young adult literature tuned into Today, expecting to see a segment on ALA’s recently announced Youth Media Awards, featuring the authors of the Newbery and Caldecott, as well as a representative from ALA to discuss the awards. This year, along with the authors, YALSA’s own Sarah Debraski was pitched to lead viewers through a new year of outstanding books for children and teens, just as many ALA leaders have for the past eleven years.
Unfortunately, this year, Today turned ALA’s pitch down, citing a lack of interest and scheduling problems.
It’s a unfortunate that the YMAs weren’t able to make the cut this year, but we do appreciate the many years that Today chose to feature the awards.
UPDATE: Mark Gould, director of ALA’s Public Information Office, offered this statement:
â€œThe American Library Association did reach out to the Today Show, and’ multiple conversations took place between’ show’ producers and Pro-Media Communications, ALA’s media relations firm,â€ said Mark Gould, director, ALA Public Information Office. â€œUnfortunately we were turned down.
â€œThe ALA Youth Media Awards have had a spot on the Today Show for more than a decade, and while not being on this year was’ a disappointment for ALA members and book lovers across the country, we hope’ the Today Show’ can find room for us in the future.â€
Huh? The Al Roker Book Club network? Stunning……………..and yet, perhaps not so given television today. Very sad.
This is so maddening! We need to show the people at the Today Show that there is interest.
A small step towards Farenheit 451. They must think books are too intelligent for the general t.v. audience.
I’ve just written to them encouraging them to reconsider for next year. TODAY@nbcuni.com
Lets not miss this opportunity to change how we think about publicizing and marketing our yearly awards. It sounds like we were relying on The Today Show to do what it does every year. We should know better then just to think about things in terms of what happened the year before and we should be thinking about new ways to promote our awards. I am not sure what the exact answer is but lets face it, the best part of the awards is the anticipation and speculation. We should be promoting that aspect. YALSA is a particularly good position to do this since a list of finalists are selected a month ahead of time and we can market the titles and the build up and then final announcement.
I understand The Today Show’s decision not to cover the awards because of ratings. They are suppose to cover the news and if the awards themselves are no longer considered newsworthy, we must find a way to make them newsworthy.
I’ve written to them, as well, encouraging them to to reconsider for next year, and I told them why it was important for them to do so. Thanks for the e-mail address.