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Susan Bernofsky and Alexandra Kleeman receive the Berlin Prize; Ben Smith questions Ronan Farrow’s reporting

Susan Bernofsky. Photo: Caroline White

The Authors Guild and the National Book Critics Circle have written an open letter to newspapers and other media companies, encouraging “those outlets to continue to make space for the vital conversation around books in their coverage.” “Strong literary arts coverage not only benefits authors, but nourishes the entire literary ecosystem, including freelance reviewers, publishers, bookstores, libraries, literary agencies, editors, designers and everyone who contributes in one way or another to the world of books.”

Ben Smith, the New York Times’ media columnist, questions Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Catch and Kill author Ronan Farrow’s investigative methods: “His reporting can be misleading but he does not make things up. His work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.”

The Big Other has announced the winners of its annual literary awards, which include Timothy Donnelly’s poetry collection The Problem of the Many and Richard McFarlane’s nonfiction book Underland.

Translator and biographer Susan Bernofsky and fiction writer Alexandra Kleeman have both received this year’s Berlin Prize. Bernofsky will use the prize to work on her new translation of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. Kleeman will use it to continue work on her dystopian Los Angeles novel Something New Under the Sun.

Publishers Weekly reports that brick-and-mortar bookstore sales dropped 33.4 percent in March.

Vice Media has laid off around 155 employees. “The reality is that some tough decisions had to be made primarily around our digital teams,” Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in a memo. “Currently, our digital organization accounts for around 50% of our headcount costs, but only brings in about 21% of our revenue. Looking at our business holistically, this imbalance needed to be addressed for the long-term health of our company.”

Simon & Schuster has bought Gucci Mane’s new book, The Gucci Mane Guide to Greatness, which will be released in October. Mane’s 2017 Autobiography was a bestseller for the publisher.

The Times spotlights “four writers to watch this summer”: Brit Bennett, Megha Majumdar, Roddy Doyle, and Marie-Helene Bertino.